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Back page gossip from the 9 November issue of Research Europe

We like the moon

Europe will have a base on the moon in the future, with the first infrastructure due to be put in place within a decade, accord­ing to the head of the European Space Agency. “It will happen,” Esa director-gen­eral Josef Aschbacher told the European Parliament’s research committee. But there is a catch: Aschbacher needs more funding if Europe is to pursue space exploration. He said the US space agency Nasa has a budget about four times the size of Esa’s—or six times if the defence activities of the US are included. Europe “should not miss the train” on exploration or else “exactly the same will happen as happened in chips, IT or other domains where Europe [has] not invested” and missed out on eco­nomic opportunities, he warned.

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