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December 5 2012

$12.8 billion budget approved for European Space Agency


MILAN Science ministers from the 20 member states of the European Space Agency on Wednesday approved a budget of 10 billion ($12.8 billion) over the next three years, coming close to the agency's request despite the continent's economic woes.

The budget includes funds for the eventual transition over the course of the decade to the Ariane 6 rocket, a more flexible launch system than the current one that would allow the space agency to launch small, medium and large satellites.

"Today, the Ariane 6 is born," ESA spokesman Franco Bonacina said.

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