Business & Economy

France, Germany and Italy sign budget rules for European space launches

Paris, Nov 22 (EFE).- France, Germany and Italy have signed an agreement setting the rules on the public financing for the future European rockets Ariane 6 and Vega-C.

The announcement of the financing plans was given on Tuesday at the beginning of the Ministerial Council, a meeting between the European Space Agency (ESA) along with other 22 European space actors.

The goal of the conference, which is set to end on Wednesday, is to set the basis for a “sustainable, long-term economic development of the space sector and to increase the contribution of space activities to the sustainable development of society.”

The rules of the announced financing will be subjected to a future review based on certain economic indicators that should be known in the first half of 2023.

In a joint statement, the three signing countries asked Josef Aschbacher, director general of ESA, to propose by mid-2023 “revised exploitation parameters related to public funding” for the approval of the financial agreement by the member states.

In any case, according to the statement, the rules are to take into account “the evolution of market prices, institutional prices, economic conditions and status of negotiation between the launcher primes and the industrialists.”

The proposed financing will also be subjected to the maintenance of the primary goal of allowing “the commercial exploitation of the two launchers with a duly defined public support while at the same time maintaining an independent and autonomous access to space.”

Once public funding is established, it will be allocated in the agency’s contracts with launching service providers and with other corporations of the industry.

Aschbacher is looking for support for a 25% funding boost which would set the budget to 18.7 billion euros for the next three years.

ESA’s goal is to improve its technological and industrial performance, in the face of increasing global competition, from countries such as China, India and the US, as well as private players like SpaceX. EFE


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