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: 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 ...
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: Samantha Cristoforetti's shot of fishing boats at night
This abstract picture taken from the International Space Station shows fishing boats illuminating the sea to attract fish into their nets. In this case, the lights attracted ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti to take this ...
Image: Chaos on watery Europa
Jupiter's moon Europa is brimming with water. Although it is thought to be mostly made up of rocky material, the moon is wrapped in a thick layer of water – some frozen to form an icy crust, some potentially pooled in shallow ...
European space agencies inaugurate altered-gravity aircraft
ESA, France's space agency CNES and the German aerospace centre DLR inaugurated the Airbus A310 ZERO-G refitted for altered gravity by running 12 scientific experiments this week.
Image: Soyuz TMA-15M docked at the International Space Station
Since docking with the International Space Station on 24 November 2014, Soyuz TMA-15M has been waiting for its return flight to Earth. On Thursday, ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, NASA astronaut Terry Virts and cosmonaut ...
Swissto12 conquering space with 3D printing
Satellite communications could be streamlined by light and inexpensive antennas that have been developed by SWISSto12. This EPFL spin-off has just signed a major contract with the European Space Agency to develop its metal-plated ...
Proba-V maps world air traffic from space
As ESA's Proba-V works quietly on its main task of monitoring vegetation growth across Earth, the minisatellite is also picking up something from a little higher: signals from thousands of aircraft.
Image: Akari view of the Cygnus region in the Milky Way
The constellation of Cygnus is one of the most recognisable in the northern hemisphere. During the summer months, the stars of its long neck stretch along the Milky Way and its wings sweep from side to side.
Image: Where Philae phones home
The receipt of signals from Rosetta's Philae lander on 13 June after 211 days of hibernation marked the start of intense activity. In coordination with its mission partners, ESA teams are working to juggle Rosetta's flight ...