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European Space Agency creates 150 new jobs in Belgium

Belgium invests the fifth-largest amount in the European Space Agency. Credit: ESA

Belgium will get 150 extra jobs in the space sector, announced the Minister for Science Policy, David Clarinval, during the 12th European Space Conference, in Brussels.

The Ariane 6 programme, of which the first flight is planned at the end of 2020, as well as the construction of the new lighter Vega launchers, will generate around 150 jobs in Belgium, at both the Brussels and Lummen branches of SABCA, at Safran AeroBoosters in the Liège municipality of Herstal, the Thales Alenia Space site in Charleroi, and Spacebel in the Flemish Brabant municipality of Hoeilaart, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

The extra jobs are a direct consequence of the Belgian investments in several programmes of the European Space Agency. ESA operates on a system of proportional compensation, meaning that countries that invest the most, receive the most in return.

Belgium will invest €1.45 billion over the 2020-2024 period, a step up from the €1.2 billion it invested during the four previous years.

Previously, that record amount resulted in the arrival of the ESA’s new cybersecurity centre in the village of Redu, in the province of Luxembourg. In the four following years, the investment will be rewarded by Belgium’s participation in the Ariana 6 programme, and the construction of the Vega (advanced generation European carrier rocket) launchers.

Belgium invests the fifth-largest amount in the European Space Agency. France invests the most in the European space sector, followed by Germany, Italy and Spain, according to ESA.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times