New ESA centre in United Kingdom

Aerial view of the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus
27 November 2008

A step towards the creation of a new European Space Agency research centre in the United Kingdom was taken this week with an agreement made at the ESA Ministerial Council in The Hague.

ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and the UK Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Drayson, signed an agreement in principle to pursue the establishment of an ESA research centre, to be based at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.

ExoMars rover

Several areas of possible activity have already been identified, including climate change modelling using space data, integrated applications and the development of new technologies for the next era of planetary exploration, including robotics and innovative power sources.

UK science and industry have played a strong part in the success of ESA missions and this move will allow for a stronger role in future ESA activities.

In fact, UK industry will be involved in the development of ExoMars, the ESA project to develop a robotic probe that will search for life on the 'Red Planet'.

For more information:

Franco Bonacina
ESA Spokesman and Head of Media Relations Office
Communications and Knowledge Department
Tel: + 33 (0)1 53 69 72 99
E-mail: franco.bonacina @ esa.int

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