SRON Managing Director Roel Gathier has been elected vice-chairman of the Science Programme Committee (SPC) of ESA. The SPC decides on the content of ESA's Science Programme. In this programme ESA develops missions for space research of "nearby" objects (Sun, Moon, Planets) and object to the edges of our Universe.
The Science Programme has an annual budget of more than 450 M€, to which each ESA member state has to contribute. The most recent showcase of ESA's Science Programme is the Herschel satellite, with onboard the molecule hunter HIFI developed by SRON.
"ESA's Science Programme is renowned around the globe," says Roel Gathier. "Therefore it is a great honor to contribute as SPC vice-chairman to the further development of the Science Programme in the next three years. Many important decisions are to be taken in the coming period. In November next year a decision will be made at the ESA ministerial conference on the level of future science budget."
"The next few years also several decisions will be taken on new missions in the Science Programme, and also on contributions by ESA to non-European missions, such as the Japanese infrared satellite SPICA. As Principal Investigator (PI) for the SAFARI instrument onboard SPICA, SRON hopes to play an important role in this mission. So, I look forward to this important period for Europe, for the Netherlands and for the future of SRON!"