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New Steps In ESA Cooperation For GMES Program

The amendment signed this weeks adds a further contribution from the European Commission of 205 million euros to segment 2 of the GSC program.
by Staff Writers
Brussels Belgium (SPX) Jan 29, 2009
This week in Brussels, the amendment to the EC-ESA GMES agreement was signed by Mr Jean-Jacques Dordain, the ESA Director General, and Mr Heinz Zourek, Director General of the European Commission's Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry.

This amendment will extend the scope of the original Agreement (signed in February 2008) to activities of Segment 2 of the GMES Space Component Programme and paves the way to ordering the second units of the Sentinel 1, 2, 3 satellites as well as the atmospheric chemistry missions Sentinel-4 and -5 precursor.

Segment 2 of the GMES Space Component (GSC) Programme, which will span the period 2009-2018, overlapping with the ongoing Segment 1 (2006-2013), will complete the development of the initial five new satellites called Sentinels, developed by ESA specifically to meet the needs of GMES, and will ensure operational access to Earth observation data from Contributing Missions for the user community.

Segment 2 was approved by the ESA Member States at the last ESA Ministerial Council meeting held on 25-26 November 2008 with subscriptions to the programme from ESA Participating States amounting to 831.4 million euros (at 2008 economic conditions).

The amendment signed this week adds a further contribution from the European Commission of 205 million euros to segment 2 of the GSC programme.

GMES is an EU-led initiative. Following the recent Commission Communication and EU Competitiveness Council conclusions(2) on GMES, the European Commission ensures the political coordination of GMES and the development and implementation of a programmatic, institutional, financial and regulatory framework and takes the lead in identifying and bringing together user needs for GMES.

It also ensures the availability and continuity of operational services that support its policies. Technical implementation is entrusted to European entities.

In this context and in accordance with the 5th Space Council Resolution of September 2008, ESA's role within GMES is to be the development and procurement agency for the dedicated GMES Sentinel Missions, and the coordinator for the whole GMES Space Component, including contributions made available by Member States, EUMETSAT and further GMES partners

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