HELSINKI — The European Space Agency will ask its 22 member states to commit to funding a budget of 12.5 billion euros ($13.9 billion) for the next three years.
ESA Director-General Jan Woerner told a press tele-briefing Thursday that the proposal will be put to the next ESA Ministerial Council to be held Nov. 27-28 in Seville, Spain.
The November conference will see members and observers discuss ESA’s future work and funding. If finalized and accepted, the commitment would be an increase over the $12 billion secured at the previous Ministerial, held Dec. 2016.
The spending proposal is spread across four pillars consisting of a mixture of mandatory and optional programs. Preliminary numbers would see each of science and exploration, applications, and enabling and support receive about a third of the ESA budget, with space safety and security receiving 7 percent.
Science and exploration will cover existing commitments such as the International Space Station but could include new lunar and Mars projects. ESA will engage in both autonomous initiatives and those through international cooperation, including NASA’s Gateway and potentially a Mars sample-return mission.
Despite uncertainties regarding funding for NASA’s Artemis program and its timeline, Woerner stated that ...