Monday, February 15, 2010

French Stimulus includes $1 billion for CNES

Space News

The French space agency, CNES, is counting on an unforeseen cash injection of up to $1 billion from France’s economic stimulus package in the coming weeks to enable it to start programs that otherwise would not be funded even as it finances and reduces its debt to the European Space Agency (ESA), CNES officials said Feb. 11.

France’s planned government bond issue, the details of which are expected to be confirmed by the French parliament by March, sets aside up to 750 million euros ($1.03 billion) for space-related programs.

The money is divided into two parts. A line reserved for space programs totaling 500 million euros appears to be intended for CNES-led projects, with the start of work on a next-generation launch vehicle to succeed today’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 rocket all but certain to be included. This Ariane 6 preparatory work will be presented to the 18-nation ESA in 2011 or 2012 as part of an ESA-run program to develop the vehicle.

Read the article, HERE.

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