The European Space Agency (ESA) is an international organization with 18 member states headquartered in Paris, France with the purpose of combining talent, resources and funds to undertake space programs, study Earth, the Solar System and the Universe. The annual budget for ESA is over $3.5 billion. The primary member states are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In addition, Canada, Hungary, Romania operate under a cooperative agreement. Estonia and Slovenia have recently entered into a cooperative agreement.
Image: X-ray tomography machine
The engineers of ESA's Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory – tasked with studying candidate parts for space missions – have an armoury of specialist equipment to turn to, including one very heavy piece of kit.
Video: Preparing the ExoMars spacecraft for 2016 launch
The ExoMars spacecraft is almost complete. A joint mission between ESA and Roscosmos, it begins with the launch of the ExoMars orbiter in 2016 and carries an aerodynamically designed capsule containing a robotic lander. Getting ...
Image: Modeling Gaia's avionics on the ground
A full-size working model of Gaia's internal systems arrived in Germany this week. The Avionics Model is mounted in a circular set-up representing the systems on the actual satellite, now orbiting the Sun–Earth L2 point ...
Video: MSG-4 launch
Full replay of the launch coverage of the MSG-4 satellite, which lifted off on an Ariane launcher from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana at 21:42 GMT (23:42 CEST) on 15 July 2015.
Image: Central Algeria captured by Copernicus Sentinel-2A
The sandy and rocky terrain of the Sahara desert in central Algeria was captured in this image by the Sentinel-2A satellite.
Image: Sampit, Indonesia imaged by Sentinel-1A's radar
This image from Sentinel-1A's radar brings us over Indonesia's Central Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo.
Image: Sentinel-1A captures Tianjin, China
The Chinese city of Tianjin is captured in this Sentinel-1A radar image created by combining three scans over several months.
Image: Contingency training for the Sentinel-2 mission control team
In this image, Spacecraft Operations Manager Franco Marchese and the Sentinel-2 mission control team are seen during simulation training in the Main Control Room at ESOC, Darmstadt, on 28 April.
Tracking Japan's asteroid impact mission
ESA is set to support Japan's 'touch-and-go' Hayabusa-2 spacecraft, now en route to a little-known asteroid, helping to boost the scientific return from this audacious mission.
Image: Cloud chamber at Le Bourget
VIP visitors to the ESA pavilion at Le Bourget peer into a 'cloud chamber', which reveals the tracks of cosmic ray particles that continuously but invisibly pelt our planet.