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European Space Agency

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 6th November 2014.

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Photo of Martin Caton Martin Caton Labour, Gower

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for the time taken for the general release of data from European Science Agency (ESA) projects; and if he will make future UK contributions to ESA projects conditional on full and immediate release of all data.

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark Minister of State (Universities and Science), Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

Data release from ESA missions is governed by agreements approved by all Member States. Release is normally after 6 months, allowing the scientists leading the mission –including many from the UK - to check the integrity of the data and undertake necessary calibrations. This is essential for the data to be scientifically useful.

The UK will continue to press for the best agreements to maximise the effective use of the data and ensure that images are available as soon as possible to inform the public about these exciting projects.

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