Following the European Space Agency’s Ministerial Council meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland, on December 1-2, 2016, Thales Alenia Space welcomed announcements of the allocated budget, approved strategic priorities and the sustained commitment of member states.
The ExoMars space exploration program will continue, enabling Europe to land a rover on Mars in 2020. Carrying unprecedented scientific experiments, this spacecraft is a vital follow-on to the search for life on Mars, initiated by the TGO (Trace Gas Orbiter), already in orbit around Mars and operating perfectly. Europe will also continue to participate in the operation of the International Space Station until 2024 and it will develop the Space Rider, both programs that are a key to future exploration missions.
Financing was approved for the EEOP (European Earth Observation Program), enabling the development of new generations of Copernicus Sentinel satellites to ensure the data continuity that is indispensable for monitoring our planet’s climate. Support for the ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems) program is a crucial factor in developing new generations of telecommunications satellites and ensuring that Europe remains among the global leaders in terms of competitiveness, innovation, the development of new applications and job creation.