|Maintaining our technical & commercial position|
The UK is one of the founding members of the European Space Agency (ESA), an inter-governmental organisation established in 1975 to promote cooperation in space research, technology & applications development. ESA is independent of the EU, bringing together countries across Europe & around the world.
Membership enables the UK to collaborate with space agencies across the world on projects like the International Space Station and the ExoMars programme to send a UK-built rover to search for signs of life on Mars.
The funding, confirmed at the 2019 ESA Ministerial Council in Seville, Spain, is in line with the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy agreed between government and the UK space sector in 2010, to increase investment in ESA. The UK is now spending an average of almost £95m per year to support telecommunications research and £80m per year to support Earth observation & climate science projects.
This investment will secure UK involvement in international space missions and the development of new technologies, including: