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ESA's Dordain: We need Spanish space industry


Edinburgh, Sep 10 (EFE).- The European Space Agency, or ESA, is engaged in an intense dialogue with Spain's government and industry to avoid Spanish cutbacks on space projects having "drastic consequences" for the sector, which "we need," ESA director Jean-Jacques Dordain said.

Dordain spoke at a press conference Monday at the Living Planet symposium, the principal ESA conference on satellites for observing Earth.

The conference has drawn more than 1,500 participants to Edinburgh.

"It takes 10 years to create the industrial capability and three months to destroy it," the ESA chief said.

Talks are being held with both the Spanish space industry and Spanish Industry, Energy and Tourism Minister Jose Manuel Soria to ward off any negative effects from Spain applying budget cuts to ESA's optional programs, which mostly depend on companies' participation, Dordain said.

"We're joining forces," Dordain said, adding that "there is obviously a limit to this effort."

What is important is the ongoing dialogue among the three parties involved to assure the continued contribution of Spanish industrial capability," the ESA chief said, noting that otherwise "it could be regrettable not only for Spain, but also for ESA."