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Stories of the stars


Jan Wörner tells us how he secured a record-breaking budget for the European Space Agency

For centuries, science fiction writers have captured readers’ imaginations with tales of planet-hopping adventures. European Space Agency head Jan Wörner (pictured) says he adopted similar storytelling to secure an unprecedented €14.4-billion budget for ESA at the tail end of 2019.

“We developed for the whole programme one coherent narrative, so it was not just the sum of [disparate projects],” he says. “I went to citizens, politicians, industry…all of this came together.”

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