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ESA Budget 2016 Increased by 18.4%- but Key Programs still Underfunded


fredinno
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http://spacenews.com/esa-members-give-space-agency-an-18-percent-budget-boost/

 

ESA's budget has recently been increased 18.4% to $5.71 Billion- an increase fuelled by increased investment by the European Commission, along with several European governments- especially Italy. One major area where this funding increase is concentrated in is the Galileo navigation satellite program, along with the Copernicous Earth Observation program- both of whom are owned by the European Commission (But operated by ESA). Thus, the increase in funding the Commission is giving to ESA is largely going to these two programs- which are in the manufacturing and deployment stages, and require the most money at this point.

 

A 72% increase has also been given to ESA for "launchers"- most of which is going to fund the Vega-C and Ariane 6 projects. Italy and France, with majority stakes in the Vega-C and Ariane 6, respectively, have thus increased their funding of ESA by 55% and 18% repectively.

 

However, with the concentration on Earth observation, navigation, and rocket development, some programs have still remained underfunded.

 

One high-profile program is the ExoMars mission, a two part joint program with Rocosmos (the Russian Space Agency) with launches in 2016 and 2018. Woerner, the Director-General of ESA, has stated the 2018 may have to be delayed to 2020 to make up for the underfunding- though this will increase overall mission cost. This portion, which is at risk of delays, includes a lander and a rover being sent to Mars. This possible delay of ExoMars, if undertaken, would be due to ESA underfunding, not Rocosmos- Rocosmos has stated they do not have any delays on their side of the mission.

 

ESA's ISS contributions are also at risk- Weorner has stated that he will do his utmost to convince his member governments to fund ESA's use of the ISS to 2024, from 2020. ESA members are sceduled to meet in December 2016 to determine their future role in the ISS.

 

TL;DR: ESA has been given more money, but it's mostly to new rockets and Earth Observation and GPS-esque satellites. ExoMars may be delayed due to lack of funding, and ISS's ESA use to 2024 is being reviewed.

Edited by fredinno
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24 minutes ago, fredinno said:

http://spacenews.com/esa-members-give-space-agency-an-18-percent-budget-boost/

 

ESA's budget has recently been increased 18.4% to $5.71 Billion- an increase fuelled by increased investment by the European Commission, along with several European governments- especially Italy. One major area where this funding increase is concentrated in is the Galileo navigation satellite program, along with the Copernicous Earth Observation program- both of whom are owned by the European Commission (But operated by ESA). Thus, the increase in funding the Commission is giving to ESA is largely going to these two programs- which are in the manufacturing and deployment stages, and require the most money at this point.

 

A 72% increase has also been given to ESA for "launchers"- most of which is going to fund the Vega-C and Ariane 6 projects. Italy and France, with majority stakes in the Vega-C and Ariane 6, respectively, have thus increased their funding of ESA by 55% and 18% repectively.

 

However, with the concentration on Earth observation, navigation, and rocket development, some programs have still remained underfunded.

 

One high-profile program is the ExoMars mission, a two part joint program with Rocosmos (the Russian Space Agency) with launches in 2016 and 2018. Woerner, the Director-General of ESA, has stated the 2018 may have to be delayed to 2020 to make up for the underfunding- though this will increase overall mission cost. This portion, which is at risk of delays, includes a lander and a rover being sent to Mars. This possible delay of ExoMars, if undertaken, would be due to ESA underfunding, not Rocosmos- Rocosmos has stated they do not have any delays on their side of the mission.

 

ESA's ISS contributions are also at risk- Weorner has stated that he will do his utmost to convince his member governments to fund ESA's use of the ISS to 2024, from 2020. ESA members are sceduled to meet in December 2016 to determine their future role in the ISS.

 

TL;DR: ESA has been given more money, but it's mostly to new rockets and Earth Observation and GPS-esque satellites. ExoMars may be delayed due to lack of funding, and ISS's ESA use to 2024 is being reviewed.

So where do they stand on a lunar base? I heard they're still fighting for that.

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5 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

So where do they stand on a lunar base? I heard they're still fighting for that.

That's pretty much dead, as anticipated. It was Woerner's pet project, but lacked leaders and/or funding.

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1 minute ago, fredinno said:

That's pretty much dead, as anticipated. It was Woerner's pet project, but lacked leaders and/or funding.

Ah, I hope it gets resurrected someday soon, an international lunar mining colony will be very useful for deep-space missions and future He-3 reactors, and it would be a suitable replacement for the ISS.

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28 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

Ah, I hope it gets resurrected someday soon, an international lunar mining colony will be very useful for deep-space missions and future He-3 reactors, and it would be a suitable replacement for the ISS.

It needed NASA's cooperation anyways, so it might return in some other form, like the Mir-2 to the ISS.

And Lunar Bases can never replace LEO zero-G stations, there's a lot of research that can be done on a space station that's impossible on a moon base. I'm really hoping another nation, like China, picks it up, but those will almost certainly be smaller than ISS.

 

And He-3 reactors are basically never happening. The Moon is a great place to get that stuff for research, but by then D-T reactions will already be perfected.

Edited by fredinno
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1 hour ago, Spaceception said:

Ah, I hope it gets resurrected someday soon, an international lunar mining colony will be very useful for deep-space missions and future He-3 reactors, and it would be a suitable replacement for the ISS.

Colonies are stupid.

I would support a lunar outpost though. It would be a much more achievable next step than Mars, and we really need achievements rather than distant goals that are always 30 years into the future.

But it's not going to happen, or at least not led by ESA. Woerner was being naive by proposing it. There is no political support for large manned projects in Europe.

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