WASHINGTON — The head of the European Space Agency says he believes that member states will provide most, if not all, of the funding it is seeking for its array of programs at a ministerial meeting in November.
In an Oct. 23 interview during the 70th International Astronautical Congress here, Jan Woerner said that none of the agency’s 22 member states have, in recent discussions, expressed opposition to any of the major programs for which ESA is seeking funding for the next three years.
“I’m really optimistic,” he said. “I don’t know if we’ll get the full amount that we’re asking for, but we’ve had already several discussions with the member states about all of these programs, and there’s not a single program where the member states have said, ‘This is a bad proposal.’”
ESA’s proposal seeks 12.5 billion euros ($13.9 billion) from its member states over three years for the agency’s wide array of programs, from space science to space transportation. ESA’s members will decide their individual contributions to the proposal during a ministerial meeting Nov. 27–28 in Seville, Spain, known as Space19+.
That meeting will cap off a process that started two years ago, he said, developing a ...