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european union
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

France, Germany and Italy, the three biggest contributors to the European Space Agency, said Tuesday they have agreed to guarantee the future of the next-generation Ariane 6 and Vega-C rocket launcher systems.

The countries also reaffirmed a preference for European rockets, after the agency was forced to turn to US firm SpaceX to launch two future scientific missions.

The ministers in charge of space for the ESA's 22 member states are meeting in Paris on Tuesday and Wednesday to determine the agency's funding for the next three years, with a 3.2-billion-euro ($3.3-billion) plan for European space launchers high on the agenda.

"The public funding necessary to equilibrate the Ariane 6 and Vega-C institutional and commercial exploitation will be reviewed in order to take into account the evolution of market prices, institutional prices, economic conditions," said a joint ministerial statement from France's Bruno Le Maire, Germany's Robert Habeck and Italy's Adolfo Urso.

The ESA has had to scramble to find a way to get its missions into space after Russia withdrew its Soyuz rockets in response to European sanctions over Moscow's war in Ukraine earlier this year.

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Video: 02:14:29

It is time for critical decisions about space in Europe. For two days on 22 and 23 November, ESA Member States, Associate States and Cooperating States observers are gathering in Paris to discuss how to strengthen Europe’s space sector for the benefit of all - including climate change monitoring and mitigation, secure communications under European control and rapid and resilient crisis response.

Watch the replay of the following CM22 video, ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level - Statements continue.

Watch the other CM22 videos.

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Key graphic for ESA astronaut selection 2021/22

Join us live as ESA unveils the names and faces of the new class of European astronauts. ESA WebTV will broadcast the event at 14:20 CET (13:20 GMT) on Wednesday, 23 November 2022.

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Groningen, Netherlands (SPX) Nov 15, 2022
Observations and simulations of 237 white dwarfs strengthen the evidence that planets and stars rapidly form together and become planetary systems. An international team of astronomers and planetary scientists, including Tim Lichtenberg of the University of Groningen's Kapteyn Institute, published their findings on Monday in Nature Astronomy. Planets form in a disk of hydrogen, helium and
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Perth, Australia (SPX) Nov 17, 2022
Published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, the WALLABY (The Widefield ASKAP L-band Legacy All-sky Blind surveY) Pilot Survey will be sharing its first data release with the scientific community, helping us to better understand nearby galaxies and galactic clusters. Hundreds of galaxies have been surveyed in Phase 1 of WALLABY, covering 180 square degrees of the
Tuesday, 22 November 2022 10:35

AFRL breaks ground on new Fortress Space Lab

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Kirtland AFB NM (SPX) Nov 21, 2022
The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, held a ground-breaking ceremony, Nov. 16, 2022, beginning construction on the Facility for Radiation Tolerance Research on Electronics for Space and Strategic Systems, or FORTRESS, a 6,200-square-foot, $4.5 million facility, located adjacent to the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate Deployable Structures Laboratory. The facility is designed to enabl
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Jiuquan (XNA) Nov 17, 2022
China successfully sent a new remote sensing satellite of the Yaogan 34 series into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China at 9:38 am (Beijing Time) on Tuesday. The Yaogan 34 03 satellite, carried by a Long March 4C rocket, successfully entered its planned orbit. This remote sensing satellite will be used in areas such as land resources survey, urban planni
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Paris (AFP) Nov 22, 2022
The first astronaut - or astronauts - with a physical disability could be announced as soon as Wednesday, according to the European Space Agency. People with physical disabilities have previously been excluded from one of the most exclusive and demanding jobs on Earth - and beyond - due to strict selection requirements. Guillaume Weerts, the ESA's head of space medicine, told AFP tha
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Washington DC (SPX) Nov 21, 2022
Rapidly proliferating small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) are expanding space-based capabilities critical to both government and industry. As the subsequent, ever-increasing demand strains operational limitations of LEO satellites, DARPA's new Space Power Conversion Electronics (SPCE) program seeks greater efficiencies in usable power in the harsh space environment. Space-based power
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Westminster CO (SPX) Nov 21, 2022
Advanced Space LLC., a leading space tech solutions company, announced that the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate, as part of a collaborative effort with AFRL's Transformational Capabilities Office, has awarded the company a $72 million contract to deliver AFRL's Oracle spacecraft program, previously called the Cislunar Highway Patrol System, or CHPS. Oracle
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