The European Space Agency's member states have signed off on €1.33 billion ($1.68 billion) of the agency's budget, aimed at supporting the Ariane 5 launcher programme and developing a replacement reusable launcher. Disputes over workshare and industrial returns blocked the funds in a previous council meeting in December. Most of the money will subsidise Arianespace's fixed costs in Europe and at the Ariane launch complex in Kourou, French Guiana, under the European Guaranteed Access to Space (EGAS) programme, which will cost €960 million over the next five years. EGAS is aimed at keeping the Ariane 5 project alive in the absence of a strong commercial market and a reliable government demand.

Source: Flight International