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ESA approves Galileo, Ariane upgrade funding
Posted: Fri, Nov 16, 2001, 7:12 PM ET (0012 GMT)
ESA The European Space Agency approved plans to fund development of a global positioning system and Ariane booster upgrades during a meeting in Scotland this week. The ministers of ESA's member nations responsible for space issues met in Edinburgh Wednesday and Thursday and approved a number of programs for the space agency. The ministers approved plans to fund a portion of the development cost of Galileo, a global positioning system similar to the American GPS. The European Union's transport ministers will meet next month to discuss funding their share of Galileo. ESA ministers also approved funding of upgrades to the Ariane 5 that will increase its payload capacity and reduce launch costs. In a signal of growing tensions with NASA, ESA elected to withhold 60 percent of its planned funding contribution to the project over the next five years until NASA fulfills all its obligations to the station, including support for a full seven-person crew.
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