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Luxembourg is top space agency supporter by GDP

Luxembourg has overtaken Belgium as the European Space Agency (ESA) member contributing the highest amount relative to its GDP, Space News has reported.

Luxembourg is reportedly contributing 3.2 per cent of its GDP to ESA, while Belgium gives 2.2 per cent and France 1.5 per cent. ESA’s director-general, Jean-Jacques Dordain, said most of Luxembourg’s contributions are in telecommunications programmes, it was reported.

Dordain announced the change in contributions yesterday (15 January), according to Space News. Figures were adjusted during ESA’s ministerial conference in November.

Italy, Spain and Sweden have also moved down in the ranking of contributors by GDP, while the UK moved up, according to the article. In terms of actual contributions, France and Germany are the leaders, while Italy is thought to have been surpassed by the UK for third place. The UK announced it would increase its ESA spending by 25 per cent starting in 2013, the article said.