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ESA

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, ESA has a worldwide staff of about 2,200 in 2018 and an annual budget of about €5.72 billion (~US$6.43 billion) in 2019. ESA's space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module, that will fly on the Space Launch System.

NASA’s Webb Telescope Launches to See First Galaxies, Distant Worlds

“NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope launched at 7:20 a.m. EST Saturday on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, South America. A joint effort with ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space …

Raspberry Pi computers head to International Space Station

“Two Raspberry Pi computers have launched into space from Cape Canaveral in Florida on a Space X rocket. The credit card-sized devices are heading to the International Space Station (ISS) to carry out experiments programmed by school pupils. It is …

Opening a 50-year-old Christmas present from the Moon

“A pretty special gift unwrapping will soon take place – a piercing tool built by ESA will open a Moon soil container from Apollo 17 that has gone untouched for nearly 50 years. The opening will allow the extraction of precious …

Test tanks fuelled for ESA’s Themis reusable first stage

“Recently completed tests of two propellant tanks set a first technological milestone in the ESA reusability roadmap towards the demonstration of a reusable first stage vehicle called Themis. Through the Themis programme, ESA aims to assess the economic value of …

NASA, SpaceX Launch DART: First Test Mission to Defend Planet Earth

“NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards, launched Wednesday at 1:21 a.m. EST on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from …

Fly by Mercury with this stunning new video from the BepiColombo spacecraft

“The European and Japanese BepiColombo spacecraft made the closest ever measurements of the magnetic field of Mercury above the planet’s southern hemisphere as it zoomed past, snapping epic selfies along the way. European Space Agency (ESA) and Japan Aerospace …

Jupiter mission passes space vacuum test

“ESA’s Juice mission to Jupiter has successfully endured a month of space-like conditions inside the Large Space Simulator, the largest vacuum chamber in Europe. At 10 m wide and 15 m high, the Large Space Simulator (LSS) is big …

Then There Were 3: NASA to Collaborate on ESA’s New Venus Mission

“As a key partner in the mission, NASA provides the synthetic aperture radar, called VenSAR, to make high-resolution measurements of the planet’s surface features. On June 10, 2021, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced the selection of EnVision as …

Galileo satellites’ last step before launch

“Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation constellation is set to grow. Later this year the first two out of 12 ‘Batch 3’ Galileo satellites will be launched by Soyuz from French Guiana. Their last step on the way to launch is …

Sentinel-6 passes in-orbit tests with flying colours

“In November 2020, the Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was launched into orbit from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, US. Now, months later, the satellite has successfully passed what is known as the ‘in-orbit verification phase’, where its …