UK to invest £374m per year in European Space Agency programmes

  • The UK Space agency has announced plans to invest £374m per year over the next five years with the European Space Agency on some ambitious projects.

    The European Space Agency (ESA) has been an ongoing collaboration between countries throughout Europe since 1975, and the UK as one of its founding members has been a big part of the organisation's success. Though the state of relations between the UK and European Union is still up in the air, the ESA is an independent organisation and the UK will continue to invest in its projects.

    The UK Space Agency has confirmed that it will be investing £374m per year in the ESA as part of its Space Innovation and Growth Strategy agreement with the UK government. This will ensure that the UK is involved in all of the organisation's ongoing space missions and R&D activities, and there are some ambitious ones on the horizon.

    Plans include the launch of new satellites to expand 5G coverage and monitor climate change, missions to return samples of material from Mars, and ongoing projects to remove space junk and debris from orbit that can collide with satellites. Along with International Space Station partners NASA, JAXA, CSA, and Roscosmos, the ESA will also be participating in the Lunar Gateway project to build a new space station orbiting the moon.

    Around £250 million of the invested funds have been earmarked for ESA’s telecommunications programme to develop and deploy new satellites, which should help speed up the rollout of 5G worldwide. £180m has been assigned to the programme to bring back the first samples from Mars and the Lunar Gateway project, and £80 million will be spent on space safety projects such as clearing space debris and monitoring for solar storms.

    Further funds have been dedicated to earth observation projects to monitor and tackle climate change, to develop commercial potential for space technologies, and to help for small businesses to take advantage of the space sector.

    Source: UK Gov

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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