Slovenia Applies for Full ESA Membership

Slovenian officials with ESA director Josef Aschbacher. Image: Slovenia

Slovenia is seeking to become a full member of ESA after seven years of holding associate member status, the central European nation announced yesterday. 

The review process for the application is expected to last roughly a year. If admitted, full membership would grant Slovenia access to ESA council meetings and voting powers.

How we got here: The formal request closely follows the adoption of Slovenia’s first national Space Strategy, which outlines the country’s science, tech, engineering, mathematics, and space educational strategy through 2030. 

  • The nation has a small but burgeoning space economy, including 40+ space businesses with a particular concentration in EO, according to a press release
  • The country has launched three satellites to orbit.

“Space sector businesses represent a promising breakthrough ecosystem, and participation in ESA space programs ensures the financing of innovation and activities in space and space applications that can be applied on Earth,” Slovenia’s ministry of the economy, tourism and sport said in the release. 

Joining ESA: ESA has 22 full members and a handful of associate states. Slovakia is the newest member, joining in 2022. Most ESA funding comes from a handful of wealthy nations, including Germany, France, Italy, and the UK. 

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