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: 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.
Image: The twisted shockwaves of an exploded star
Discovered on 5 September 1784 by astronomer William Herschel, the Veil Nebula was once a star. Now it is a twisted mass of shock waves that appears six times larger than the full Moon in the sky.
ESA image: Northwest Sardinia
This image over part of the Italian island of Sardinia comes from the very first acquisition by the Sentinel-2A satellite.
Image: Dronning Maud Land in Antarctica, as seen by ESA's Proba-1
Wind-swept mountain peaks peek above the ice of Dronning Maud Land in Antarctica, as seen by ESA's Proba-1 microsatellite, whose two-year design life has been extended by 11 years and counting.
Image: Saturn's sponge-like moon Hyperion
The subject of this image bears a remarkable resemblance to a porous sea sponge, floating in the inky black surroundings of the deep sea.
Improved vision for James Webb Space Telescope
Key science elements of the James Webb Space Telescope have been upgraded ahead of the observatory's launch in 2018.
Nepal earthquake on the radar
On 25 April, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, claiming over 5000 lives and affecting millions of people. Satellite images are being used to support emergency aid organisations, while geo-scientists are using satellite ...