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The European Space Agency’s director general Jean-Jacques Dordain and European Commission director general for Enterprise & Industry, Heinz Zourek, have signed an agreement, which establishes the allocation of an EC budget of €624 M to ESA as a contribution to the implementation of the GMES Space Component (GSC). This funding will be provided in two stages: €419 M for Segment 1 and €205 M for Segment 2 of the GSC programme.
The progressive implementation of GMES is made possible by the activities and investments of EU and ESA Member States. This is the second flagship initiative of the European Space Policy, following in the footsteps of the navigation system Galileo.
This agreement, together with the financial contributions from ESA Member States, will enable ESA to develop and launch the first three Sentinel satellites (Sentinel 1, 2 and 3), to set up the related ground segment for the reception, processing and dissemination to users of the satellite data (from the Sentinels and other satellites) and to undertake the development of further elements to come.
ESA’s role is to implement the dedicated GMES Space Component, which involves developing the Sentinel satellite series and its ground segment, coordinating data access to the Sentinels and to other missions mainly from ESA Member States that contribute to fulfilling GMES service requirements.