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.

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Video: 100 years of gravity

One hundred years ago this month, observations performed during a total solar eclipse proved for the first time the gravitational bending of light predicted by Albert Einstein's new theory of gravity, general relativity. ...

A unique experiment to explore black holes

What happens when two supermassive black holes collide? Combining the observing power of two future ESA missions, Athena and LISA, would allow us to study these cosmic clashes and their mysterious aftermath for the first ...

Clocks, gravity, and the limits of relativity

The International Space Station will host the most precise clocks ever to leave Earth. Accurate to a second in 300 million years the clocks will push the measurement of time to test the limits of the theory of relativity ...

Image: ESA's Large Diameter Centrifuge at full speed

ESA's Large Diameter Centrifuge at the Agency's technical heart in the Netherlands is seen running here at full speed. The 8-m diameter four-arm centrifuge gives researchers access to a range of hypergravity environments ...

Satellites yield insight into not so permanent permafrost

Ice is without doubt one of the first casualties of climate change, but the effects of our warming world are not only limited to ice melting on Earth's surface. Ground that has been frozen for thousands of years is also thawing, ...

Mission control 'saves science'

Every minute, ESA's Earth observation satellites gather dozens of gigabytes of data about our planet—enough information to fill the pages on a 100-metre long bookshelf. Flying in low-Earth orbits, these spacecraft are continuously ...

Monitoring Earth's shifting land

The monitoring of land subsidence is of vital importance for low-lying countries, but also areas which are prone to peculiar ground instability.

Reprogrammable satellite takes shape

The payload and platform of the first European satellite that can be completely reprogrammed after launch have been successfully joined together.

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