International space station

Published Monday, January 1, 1990

This POSTnote describes the UK’s involvement in the space station, and examines the way ahead in the light of the US budget constraints and European aspirations in space. POSTnote 7. POST. 1990.

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The UK is party, through its membership of the European Space Agency (ESA), to the largest collaborative civil science and technology project ever embarked upon by Western Nations. Together with the USA, Canada and Japan, ESA has concluded an Intergovernmental Agreement1 to develop and operate a permanently manned civil space station. In the last few months, however, budgetary constraints have forced design changes on the USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) which affect the timing and possibly the utility of the European contribution.

This POSTnote describes the UK’s involvement in the space station, and examines the way ahead in the light of the US budget constraints and European aspirations in space.

POSTnotes POST-PN-7

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The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.