ESA in the UK

This week representatives of the member states of the European Space Agency (which include Canada and Switzerland) have been meeting at The Hague to discuss plans for the next three years. As well as proposing a total budget of 10 billion Euros, and agreeing policies, it appears that the long sought after UK ESA research centre may now go ahead.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) have agreed in principle to pay construction costs to build an ESA centre at the Harwell site near Oxford. ESA already have facilities in Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and France (the headquarters) and this will be the first in the UK. The centre is likely to focus on exploiting the benefits of space, support for planetary exploration and understanding of climate change. It will be nice to have an ESA research centre not too far from home.

According to the BBC article, STFC have agreed to pay for the construction costs of this centre which they claim could be "up and running within a year". Given STFC's financial situation, and the bleak outlook for the economy in general, I'm not sure how they're going to pay for it. Perhaps money will come from the Large Facilities Capital Fund. Presumably the centre will also create jobs to replace some of those that were to be lost at Harwell during the recent funding crisis.

Tags: | |
Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Thursday 27th Nov 2008 (10:58 GMT) | Permalink
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]