Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Cabinet approves more money for European Space Agency

ČTK |
29 November 2016

Prague, Nov 28 (CTK) - The government approved on Monday a rise in the 2017 financial contribution to the European Space Agency's (ESA) budget with the aim to help Czech industry get acquainted with state-of-the-art space technologies, Transport Minister Dan Tok (ANO) has said.

Next year, the cabinet will earmark 830 million crowns for space research.

The gradual rise in the contributions to space research, mainly satellite technologies, will help Czech industry overcome its reputation of "a mere assembly hall" and "get in contact with the most advanced technologies used in the outer space," Tok told reporters.

The Transport Ministry, which coordinates space activities in the Czech Republic, says Czech funding of the ESA's work has long been undervalued compared to other ESA member countries.

Last year, the government increased the 327-million-crown contribution to the ESA by 200 million crowns.
The Czech Republic was one of the first Central European ESA members and it has long participated in the agency's activities, Tok said.

This year, the Czech Republic joined a new optional programme of development of new Ariane 6 launch vehicles.
To meet the goals set in the National Space Programme, the Czech Republic is yet to pay 245 million crowns a year to the ESA's optional programmes. This is why the agency has proposed to increase the annual contribution to the optional programmes by this sum to 445 million crowns.

Besides, the Czech Republic must pay 225 million crowns from the Education Ministry's budget to the ESA's obligatory activities, and another 60 million from the Education Ministry will go to research and development programmes.

The Czech contribution to the ESA also includes 100 million crowns to be spent on the preparation of industrial capacities in the Czech Republic for its involvement in a space programme within the National Space Programme.

The ESA was founded in 1975 with the aim to draft and implement the European Space Programme. The ESA wants to deepen the knowledge on the planet Earth, the Solar System and the whole outer space. The ESA, seated in Paris, has 22 member countries and employs more than 2,200 experts.

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