The UK Space Agency has announced an investment of £1.87bn ($2.42bn) in European Space Agency (ESA) programmes over the next five years.

Confirmed at the 2019 ESA Ministerial Council in Seville, Spain, the new funding is part of the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy agreement. In 2010, the government and the UK space sector agreed to increase ESA investment.

The new investment is expected to secure the UK’s role in international space missions.

The country will be further involved in the development of new technologies such as the new Lunar Gateway space station, new satellites to study climate change, early solar storms warning system and space junk removal.

It will also facilitate research in space technology that aims to enhance high-speed mobile technology such as 5G and satellite-based broadband services worldwide.

UK Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “We are delighted to be making this investment in ESA today. From improving communication and connectivity to helping us monitor the impact of climate change and protect our power grid, our membership of this international organisation will further our position as a space, innovation and climate superpower.”

Established in 1975, ESA is an inter-governmental organisation independent of the EU. It helps encourage partnerships in space research, technology and the development of applications.

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The UK Space Agency is one of the founding members of the ESA, which brings together countries across Europe and around the world.

The country has also pledged investments worth more than £200m in Earth Observation, including UK-led TRUTHS mission and the ESA Copernicus Space Component.