ESA asks its governments for $2.1 billion in 1st tranche of decade-long, $8.1-billion exploration program

by Peter B. de Selding

WASHINGTON— The 22-nation European Space Agency (ESA) is asking its governments for 1.89 billion euros ($2.11 billion) in new funding for a multi-year exploration program to include continued operations of the International Space Station (ISS), contributions to NASA’s Gateway exploration program and an initial tranche for a NASA-led Mars sample-return mission.

On its own, that amount of funding stretched over several years is not huge by ESA standards. The challenge for David Parker, ESA’s director of human spaceflight and robotic exploration . . .

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