Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…
Germany Invests 3.3 Billion Euros in European Space Exploration, Becomes ESA’s Largest Contributor
  • Three years after the last ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level, held in Lucerne, Switzerland, government representatives from the 22 Member States met in Seville, Spain, on 27 and 28 November 2019 and committed a total of almost 14.4 billion euro [$15.87 billion] for space programmes over the next few years.
  • Germany is contributing 3.3 billion euro [$3.6 billion] to ESA programmes focusing on Earth observation, telecommunications, technological advancement and commercialisation / NewSpace.
  • At 22.9 percent, Germany is now ESA’s largest contributor, followed by France (18.5 percent, 2.66 billion euro), Italy (15.9 percent, 2.28 billion euro) and the United Kingdom (11.5 percent, 1.65 billion euro).
  • The ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level is the highest political decision-making body, and it defines the content and financial framework for ESA’s space programmes every two to three years.
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  • December 1, 2019
ESA Seeks New Ride for Re-entry Testbed Vehicle

Aviation Week reports that ESA is looking for an alternative launcher for its Experimental Re-Entry Testbed (Expert) after a plan to launch the vehicle from a Russian submarine fell through.

Expert is a ballistic flight re-entry demonstrator that, along with a follow-on Intermediate Experimental Vehicle (IXV), is designed to pave the way for a European reusable space plane. The 450-kg (1,000-lb.) Expert was originally due to be launched in late 2010 on a modified Volna ICBM from a Russian submarine in the eastern Pacific.


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  • October 1, 2012
ESA, Thales Alenia Space to sign development contract for experimental reentry vehicle


On 20 July, ESA will sign a contract with Thales Alenia Space Italy for the development of the European Experimental Reentry Testbed (Expert).

Set for launch in 2010, Expert will provide aerothermodynamic tool validation on the basis of actual flight data for a number of physical phenomena encountered by space transportation vehicles during their reentry phase in Earth’s atmosphere. It will also improve European competence in atmospheric reentry and associated technologies.


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  • July 17, 2009