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N° 16–1993: Environment, Telecommunications and Crewed Spaceflight

26 March 1993

ESA Council takes positive decisions

The European Space Agency's Council, meeting in Paris on 24 and 25 March 1993, unanimously approved a Resolution that will allow the start-up of programmes decided on by the Council meeting at ministerial level at Granada in November 1992. These are the environmental programme, with the Envisat missions (for observation of the Earth and its environment) and Metop missions (in meteorology and climatology) and the telecommunications programme, which includes the data relay and technology mission (DRTM); this has two elements 1/2 the Artemis technology mission and the DRS data relay system, together with work on the Hermes programme.

Where crewed space stations are concerned, it was agreed to look again at the content of these programmes between now and the end of the year, so as to adapt if necessary to what happens with the international space station Freedom.

Additional contract authority was however unblocked, to safeguard the work needed for continuing, in 1993, the programmes for the Columbus attached laboratory, the polar platform and the Mir flights that are part of the precursor flights.

The participating States were asked to confirm their level of contribution to the various programmes, by 20 June this year. Following the meeting, ESA's Director General Jean-Marie Luton said he was optimistic about the future of the European space programmes: The ESA member countries have clearly shown their will to carry on with the development of ambitious programmes, while taking account of the political changes going on in Europe and round the world", he said.