ESA chief Woerner to leave in 12 months. His adversaries got their way. But what do they want?

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — The European Space Agency on June 24 decided to let Director-General Jan Woerner go when his truncated term ends on June 30, 2021, ending a months-long psychodrama in which Woerner, hounded by adversaries whose motives he could not fathom, threw in the towel in frustration:

In recent weeks, Woerner had messaged ESA’s 22 national delegations that he would be willing to stay on longer given the delicate ongoing negotiations with the 27-nation European Union . . .

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