HL Deb 18 December 1979 vol 403 cc1650-1WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the cost to the British taxpayer over the last five years of the United Kingdom's participation in the European Space Agency and what benefits have been obtained.


The United Kingdom's contribution to the European Space Agency over the last five years has been as follows:—

1974–75 £19.6 million
1975–76 £29.1 million
1976–77 £38.3 million
1977–78 £39.5 million
1978–79 £40.4 million
Investment by ESA in United Kingdom industry for application programmes is related to the size of our contributions. British industry provided the prime contractor for both the Maritime Communication Satellites (Marecs) and the European Communication Satellites (ECS), it developed the communication subsystem and computer for the ground control of the Meteorological Satellites (Meteosat) and it has developed a number of satellite subsystems. It has also had a major part in the space telescope project for the NASA space shuttle orbiter.