European Space Agency (ESA)

Space Agency and OfficeMember since 1980


The European Space Agency, provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA covers a wide range of activities, including launchers, science, robotic and human exploration, navigation, Earth observation, telecommunications, space safety and operations. It designs, builds and operates facilities and a fleet of space missions in orbit around the Earth and in the Solar System, and flies European astronauts with international partners.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia are Associate Members. Canada takes part in certain programmes under a cooperation agreement. ESA has signed European Cooperating States Agreements with Bulgaria, Cyprus and Slovakia, and cooperation agreements with Croatia and Malta.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. ESA works closely with European industry, national space agencies and the European Union, and cooperates with space agencies worldwide.

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