Spain now has its own space agency. The country’s Council of Ministers voted to establish the Spanish Space Agency, or Agencia Espacial Española (AEE). On Thursday, the government announced the surprise creation of a Spanish space agency through the director of the president’s cabinet, Iván Redondo, who mentioned the decision during his speech to the National Security Commission.
The strategic role of the AEE
The AEE will be based in Seville. It will serve to “ensure Spain’s strategic action in the field of space, both from the point of view of its technological development and the use of space in areas such as security, Earth observation, geolocation, and telecommunications” according to a statement (ref.) from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.
“Space is a priority and strategic area, essential to help and protect our society in various fields such as cybersecurity, navigation, the fight against climate change, or the monitoring of phenomena such as droughts or fires” the statement continued.
The initial investment
Minister for Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, indicated that the agency will have an initial budget of over 700 million euros in 2023. The development shows that Spain is trying to make a concerted effort to coordinate and strengthen its space sector.
The Iberian country is also making available 45 million euros in funding to finance launch startups, Morant said. In particular, the Spanish launch company PLD Space is currently preparing to launch its suborbital Miura 1 rocket early next month. While also working on the Miura 5 orbital rocket.
The Spanish Space Agency AEE will enter the European Space Agency (ESA), like other space agencies from several European countries. In addition, two Spaniards, Pablo Álvarez Fernández and Sara García Alonso, were selected, among a total of 17 candidates, as astronauts in the 2022 class of ESA astronauts in November.