ESA BR-267 Report by the 2006 Science Review Team to the ESA Council

ESA’s contribution to space science has been outstanding. Without question, its efficiency and efficacy are on a par with national space science programmes in Europe and elsewhere. Nevertheless, the present level of funding, close to 400 million€ per year through mandatory contributions by Member States, is now some 20% below the average level at the inception of Space Science in the ESRO days (1964–75), and also some 20% lower than the level of the mid-nineties.
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The 'low-hanging' fruit in space science has now largely been harvested and the Science Programme enters the implementation of the Cosmic Vision Plan. It has, thus, been considered necessary to re-assess the planning and decision-making processes, as well as the management and governance of the Science Programme. Accordingly, based on a decision by Council in February 2006, the 2006 Science Programme Review Team (SPRT) was set up and mandated to carry out the review

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