ESA’s science budget will be held in place for the next five years at 508 million euros ($664.4 million) per year under a resolution adopted by the governments here.
The decision will mean an annual drop in purchasing power of 2 to 3 percent, depending on the inflation rate, and was a disappointment for ESA officials who had urged their governments to permit an increase of about 2 percent per year to preserve buying power.
But ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain said that the budget decision is made slightly better by the fact that ESA has two new members, Romania and Poland, both of which will be contributing to the science program.
ESA has budgeted 479.7 million euros for science in 2012. The figure for 2013 is a nearly 6 percent increase with the Polish and Romanian contribution, but will be frozen through 2017 at 508 million euros….
Earth observation has been ESA’s largest single program in the past couple of years and its managers had hoped to win support for a five-year package valued at 1.9 billion euros….
The conference here agreed to spend 1 billion euros over four years starting in 2013.
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