PARIS — The European Space Agency (ESA) appears to be losing ground in its effort to secure a 10% increase in its science budget over the next three years and now faces a situation in which the budget would increase in steps, with only the last year reflecting a 10% boost from current levels.

ESA Director-General Jan Woerner said the budget figures to be agreed to at the 22-nation ESA’s ministerial conference Nov. 27-28 in Seville, Spain, are far from settled, both for science and for the agency . . .

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