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Space sentinels: New 'tools' in space to improve European environment and security policies
Date:2/28/2008

ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and European Commission Director General for Enterprise & Industry Heinz Zourek today signed in Brussels an agreement which establishes the allocation of an EC budget of 624 million to ESA as a contribution to the implementation of the GMES Space Component (GSC).

This will be provided in two stages: 419 million for Segment 1 and 205 million for Segment 2 of the GSC programme. Segment 2 will be submitted for subscription by ESAs Member States at next Novembers ministerial-level Council meeting.

"This marks a further step in the growing partnership process that sees ESA and the EC develop joint programmes for the benefit of all citizens in Europe. Within the framework agreement that links the European Community and ESA, and in accordance with the European Space Policy adopted in May 2007, ESA will develop and deliver the space infrastructure (the Sentinels) which will respond to the requirements defined by the EC concerning the GMES services dedicated to environment and security, two of the main concerns of our fellow citizens", said Jean-Jacques Dordain. It is worth recalling that ESA Member States have already raised (in two phases: 2005 and 2007) 758 million for Segment 1.

This agreement, together with the financial contributions from ESA Member States, will enable ESA to develop and launch the first three Sentinel satellites (Sentinel-1, -2 and -3), to set up the related ground segment for the reception, processing and dissemination to users of the satellite data (from the Sentinels and other satellites) and to undertake the development of further elements to come.

Policies addressing environment and security are currently high up on the European agenda. Users and decision-makers need operational information services to effectively manage our planets environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security for Europes citizens.

GMES will
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Contact: Josef Aschbacher
josef.aschbacher@esa.int
39-069-418-0700
European Space Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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