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European Space Agency gets more funds, also for Moon mission

MADRID — The 22 member states of the European Space agency have pledged to boost their funding to support more missions and research projects, including a new generation of satellites to monitor climate change.

The agency’s director-general, Jan Woerner, said Thursday at the conclusion two-day ministerial meeting in Seville, Spain, that member states pledged a record three-year budget of 12.5 billion euros ($13.7 million) plus an additional 1.9 billion euros to cover operational costs and basic research in years four and five.

Woerner said that “climate change is a strong driver” in a bigger-than-expected funding boost for Europe’s Copernicus Earth-observation satellites.

Other missions getting backing included sending the first European astronaut to the Moon, the building of a space shuttle and safety projects to remove space debris and detect asteroids.

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