European space agency
|European Space Agency
ESA / ASE
ESOC control room in Darmstadt
|English name||European Space Agency|
|French name||Agence spatiale européenne|
|Seat of the organs||Paris , France|
|Chair||Josef Aschbacher (General Director)|
|Member States||22 :|
4 : Canada Latvia Lithuania Slovenia
|Official and working languages||
English, French, German
|founding||May 30, 1975|
|Facts and figures:|
The European Space Agency ( English European Space Agency (ESA) French Agence spatiale européenne (ASE) ), based in Paris was to improve coordination of the 1975 European space activities founded and technologically over the space powers Soviet Union and United States to occur equally and not technologically and to be completely politically dependent. It has 22 member states and employed around 2,300 people in 2019.
The ESA is the successor organization to the European ELDO , ESRO and the European Telecommunications Satellite Conference (CETS). Like them, she restricts herself to “exclusively peaceful purposes” in her European projects on space exploration and use.
The ESA is not a sub-organization of the EU , but is closely interwoven through numerous collaborations with the EU and the national space agencies of its member countries. The majority of the EU countries are involved in the ESA, in addition to which Switzerland , Norway and the United Kingdom are also involved .
Since March 1st, 2021, Josef Aschbacher has been the General Director of ESA .
After World War II, many European aerospace engineers and scientists left Western Europe to work in either the United States or the Soviet Union. Although the boom in the 1950s allowed Western European countries to invest in research and space, European scientists realized that national projects could not compete with the two superpowers. As early as 1958, just a few months after the Sputnik shock , Edoardo Amaldi and Pierre Auger , two important members of the Western European scientific community, met to discuss the establishment of a joint Western European space agency. The meeting was attended by scientific representatives from eight countries.
The Western European nations decided to create two separate agencies: the ELDO ( European Launcher Development Organization ) should develop and build launch systems and the ESRO ( European Space Research Organization ) should develop the scientific satellites. ESRO was founded on March 20, 1964 by an agreement signed on June 14, 1962. ESRO celebrated its first successes between 1968 and 1972: Seven research satellites were brought into orbit with the help of American launchers. ELDO, on the other hand, was unable to launch a successful launcher during its existence. Both organizations were underfunded and the split into two organizations did not work.
The ESA was founded on May 30, 1975 with the agreement on the establishment of a European Space Agency with the signature of the agreement by the initially ten original founding members in Paris as a merger of ESRO and ELDO. After France had deposited the last instrument of ratification, the foundation came into force on October 30, 1980 in accordance with Article XXI, Paragraph 1 of the Convention.
The purpose of the establishment was a better coordination of European space activities in order to be able to act on an equal footing with the space nations Soviet Union and United States. As was previously the case with ESRO, participation in the scientific program is mandatory for all members of ESA, while other programs such as application satellites, launch vehicles or manned spaceflight only take part in countries that are interested and want to contribute to them. The ESA gives orders to the space companies of the countries participating in the programs in accordance with the membership fees for the respective programs.
In the early 1970s, when the contest for space advance between the United States and the Soviet Union had subsided and the budgets of the space agencies were dramatically cut, the ESA established itself as a pioneer in peaceful space exploration.
ESA started its first major scientific mission in 1975 with the COS-B satellite . IUE was started in 1978 in cooperation with NASA and the British SERC . It was the first space telescope in Earth orbit and was in operation until September 1996.
A large number of successful projects in Earth orbit followed and in 1985 the first deep space mission began with Giotto, which examined Halley's Comet in 1986 and Comet Grigg-Skjellerup in 1992. In the following period, a large number of projects were started, some in cooperation with NASA, which are listed below. As the successor organization to ELDO, ESA also successfully continued to develop its launch vehicles for commercial and scientific payloads as part of the Ariane program.
The more recent history
At the beginning of the new millennium, ESA, together with space agencies such as NASA, ISRO , JAXA or Roskosmos, has become a major player in space research with projects such as the Hubble space telescope, which was launched in 1990 .
While ESA still relied on cooperation with NASA in the 1980s and 1990s, various circumstances (e.g. legal restrictions on the exchange of information, incalculable project suspensions due to sudden funding cuts) meant that newer missions were increasingly self-directed or e.g. B. be carried out in cooperation with Roskosmos or JAXA. Since 2002 ESA's own ESTRACK network has not only had worldwide tracking stations for satellite tracking and rocket launches, but also its own deep space stations for lunar missions, missions at Lagrangian points and interplanetary space missions and the technology for rocket launches and critical flight maneuvers such as pivoting into a lunar or planetary orbit. Overall, the ESA is developing into a strong organization that is based more and more on its own competencies and the bundling of the services of the member states and the various national space agencies than on contributions from space organizations outside the ESA.
ESA is organized on a decentralized basis. Most of the current locations can be traced back to facilities of the predecessor organizations.
- ESA headquarters in Paris , France
- European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC) in Noordwijk , Netherlands
- European Space Safety and Education Center (ESEC) in Redu, Belgium
- European Space Flight Control Center (ESOC) in Darmstadt
- European Astronaut Center (European Astronaut Center) in Cologne
- Columbus Control Center (Col-CC) and one of eleven ESA Business Incubation Centers (BIC) in Oberpfaffenhofen
- European Space Research Institute (ESRIN) in Frascati near Rome in Italy
- European Space Astronomy Center (ESAC) in Villafranca del Castillo, Villanueva de la Cañada , near Madrid in Spain
- Guiana Space Center in Kourou , French Guiana
- Esrange base for altitude and microgravity research near Kiruna , Sweden
ESA Business Incubation Centers
In May 2020, the following ESA Business Incubation Centers existed , each with a founding date:
- 2004: BIC Noordwijk , The Netherlands
- 2005: BIC Lazio in Rome , Italy
- 2007: BIC Hessen & Baden-Württemberg in Darmstadt , Germany
- 2009: BIC Bavaria in Oberpfaffenhofen, Nuremberg and the district of Berchtesgadener Land , Germany
- 2011: BIC UK in Harwell , United Kingdom
- 2018: BIC Belgium in Redu , Geel and Mol , Belgium ; The BICs in Flanders and Wallonia , founded in 2012, merged in 2018 to form BIC Belgium
- 2013: BIC Sud France in Aquitaine , Midi-Pyrénées and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur , France
- 2014: BIC Barcelona , Spain
- 2014: BIC Portugal with three locations, Portugal
- 2015: BIC Madrid Region, Spain
- 2015: BIC Sweden, Sweden
- 2016: BIC Czech Republic in Prague , Czech Republic
- 2016: BIC Austria in Graz , Austria
- 2016: BIC Ireland, Ireland
- 2016: BIC Switzerland in Zurich , Switzerland
- 2017: BIC Estonia in Tallinn , Estonia
- 2017: BIC Finland, Finland
- 2018: BIC Nord France, France
- 2018: BIC Hungary in Budapest , Hungary
- 2018: BIC Norway, Norway
Since the French and Germans could not agree on the management after the establishment, the Briton Roy Gibson was appointed the first Director General.
|Public officials||Term of office||Country of origin|
|Roy Gibson||1975-1980||United Kingdom|
|Josef Aschbacher||since March 1, 2021||Austria|
Member States and cooperation partners
|Country||Accession (date of ratification)||National Space Organization|
|Belgium||3rd October 1978||BELSPO||Founding member|
|Denmark||15th September 1977||DTU space||Founding member|
|Germany||July 26, 1977||DLR||Founding member|
|Estonia||4th February 2015||ESO|
|Finland||January 1, 1995||Ministry of Economy and Labor|
|France||October 30, 1980||CNES||Founding member|
|Greece||March 9, 2005||HSA / HSC|
|Ireland||December 10, 1980||EGG|
|Italy||February 20, 1978||ASI||Founding member|
|Luxembourg||June 30, 2005||Luxinnovation|
|Netherlands||February 6, 1979||NSO||Founding member|
|Norway||December 30, 1986||NSA|
|Austria||December 30, 1986||FFG|
|Poland||19th November 2012||POLSA|
|Portugal||November 14, 2000||FCT|
|Romania||December 22, 2011||PINK|
|Spain||7th February 1979||INTA||Founding member|
|Sweden||April 6, 1976||SNSA||Founding member|
|Switzerland||November 19, 1976||SSO||Founding member|
|Czech Republic||November 12, 2008||Ministry of Transport|
|Hungary||February 24, 2015||HSO|
|United Kingdom||March 28, 1978||UKSA||Founding member|
|Associate members and other organizations|
|Canada||1st January 1979||CSA||associated member|
|Latvia||July 27, 2020||Ministry of Education and Science||associated member|
|Lithuania||May 21, 2021||LSA||associated member|
|Slovenia||5th july 2016||SPACE-SI||associated member|
|European Union||May 28, 2004|
Relationship with the European Union
There is no direct connection between the European Union and the ESA; the ESA is not the EU's space agency. The ESA is an independent organization, but it maintains close links with the EU through the European Space Council and is financially supported by the EU. These relationships are regulated , among other things, by the ESA / European Commission Framework Agreement . 19 of the 22 member states of the ESA are also members of the European Union. This in turn means that some EU countries (as of 2020: 8 of 27) are not members of the ESA.
Notwithstanding this, joint actions with joint funding are carried out under the ESA long-term programs ( Ariane rockets , Hermes space shuttle , Columbus space laboratory , etc.). In the meantime, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) has Art. 179–190 as an independent policy area “Research, Technological Development and Space”. Since 2009, with the new provision of Art. 189 TFEU, the research and development policy mandate to the Union has been to work out the contours of a European space policy. In this regard, Art. 189 (3) TFEU mandates the Union to establish all useful links with the ESA.
European Cooperation States (ECS)
Since the jump between non-membership and full membership was too big for some countries, a new membership status was introduced. The countries that have this status are called European Cooperation States (ECS) . For countries with this status, the Plan for European Cooperation States (PECS) created an opportunity for closer cooperation. In the five-year plan , the participating country and ESA agree on the joint projects. A maximum of twelve months are planned for negotiations on this. The companies and agencies in these countries can then take part in tenders in order to take part in ESA projects. The participating countries can take part in almost all programs except for the Basic Technology Research Program . The tax burden is also lower than with full membership.
|Candidate country||Cooperation agreement||ECS||PECS||ESA membership possible from|
|Slovakia||April 28, 2010||February 16, 2015||2022|
|Bulgaria||April 8, 2015||2022|
|Cyprus||August 2009||July 6, 2016||2022|
The Czech Republic was an ECS state from November 2003 to November 2008, Romania from February 2006 to January 2011, Poland from April 2007 to September 2012, Hungary from April 2003 to February 2015 and Estonia from November 2009 to February 2015. These countries are now full members .
States with a cooperation agreement
The precondition for an ECS membership is the prior signing of a cooperation agreement. This is the first step in the direction of growing cooperation between ESA and the country concerned, up to and including full membership.
The following countries have a cooperation agreement with ESA without being an ECS country:
|Candidate country||Cooperation agreement|
|Croatia||19th February 2018|
Agreement with Russia
There is also a cooperation and partnership agreement between ESA and Roskosmos . The European-Russian cooperation began in 1990 with the transfer of knowledge, training of astronauts and the implementation of ESA experiments on Russian missions. So found z. B. the first spacecraft mission of an ESA astronaut took place as part of the Euromir-95 mission.
In the latest edition of the framework agreement between ESA and Roskosmos dated January 19, 2005, a partnership was agreed for the development, construction and use of launch vehicles. This includes the construction of a launch platform for Soyuz rockets at the Center Spatial Guyanais , the European spaceport in French Guiana . This has been operational since 2011.
Cooperation with national space agencies
ESA maintains close relationships with various national space agencies. So far there has already been a case-by-case collaboration for the missions. The aim, however, is the better integration and use of facilities of the national space agencies across borders, the improved reliability through the use of such facilities as a backup for ESOC and the exchange of experience from research, development and deployment. This strengthens the operational stability of the ESA facilities and in return gives the national space organizations access to ESA's resources and experience. Overall, the degree of utilization of all resources and thus cost efficiency can be improved. Various ESA facilities are operated locally together with the national space organizations.
- DLR has been with the GSOC in Oberpfaffenhofen since December 2018. DLR contributes its expertise from manned and unmanned spaceflight.
- CNES in Toulouse
- ESA is headquartered in Paris, which underscores France's leading role
- France pays the highest contribution to the ESA budget
- Strong national space agency CNES with the largest budget of any ESA space agency
- The development of the Ariane missile
- Operation of the spaceport in Kourou
- Engine development
- Development of ion drives
- Development of satellite buses
The European Space Agency has three locations in Germany.
- The European Space Flight Control Center (ESOC) in Darmstadt has been responsible for the operation of all ESA satellites and the necessary global network of ESTRACK ground stations since 1967 .
- The European Astronaut Center (EAC) in Cologne is a competence center for the selection, training, medical care and monitoring of space travelers. It also looks after space travelers and their relatives during the preparation and implementation of the space missions.
- The Columbus Control Center (Col-CC) of the ESA supports the European Columbus laboratory as an integral part of the ISS. The Col-CC is located on the premises of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich. In this context, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) represents the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany at ESA.
- Italy brought its expertise in rocket and satellite development to the founding of ESA. Italy was the third nation after the United States and the Soviet Union to launch a satellite into space.
- European Space Research Institute (ESRIN) in Frascati near Rome in Italy
- Strong company in the development and production of components
- Development of the Vega light launcher
- Development and construction of Harmony as part of the ISS
Cooperations with universities
The European Space Agency set up joint research laboratories called ESA_Lab with several universities . ESA Labs exist at the following universities (as of 2019, without claim to completeness):
- Darmstadt University of Technology
- École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris)
- Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres
- University of Central Lancashire
Council of Ministers
The highest body is the ESA Council of Ministers. Every two years it holds a ministerial conference attended by all ESA members and partners. The conference meets in a city of a member country. Future projects and their financial resources are decided and, if an application has been made, new partners and members are accepted.
In November 2012 the conference took place in Naples . funding for the Ariane 6 design studies has been approved. The meeting took place in Luxembourg on December 2, 2014. Here in particular the construction of Ariane 6 was finally decided. The Council of Ministers met in Lucerne on December 1 and 2, 2016 . Further funding for the ISS through 2024 and ExoMars has been set.
The ESA is financed from the national budget of the member states. The shares of the individual states are based on the gross domestic product of the respective state. A distinction is made between compulsory activities in which all member states have to participate and a number of optional programs in which the individual states are free to decide whether they wish to participate or not. In contrast to the EU tendering system, according to the Geo-Return Agreement , the award of ESA contracts to the industry is based on the funding share of the associated member state. Due to the Convention for the establishment of a European Space Agency , a contract between the ESA and each member state, as with NATO or the OECD, some special legal regulations apply. Among other things, all income of the ESA and the associated employees are exempt from taxation and the social security systems of the respective member states. For this reason there is an internal tax for ESA employees. A separate health, accident and disability insurance is guaranteed for employees. In addition, a total of 2% of the annual salary is withheld, which is used to finance each employee's pension after ten years of service. If you leave the ESA with less than ten years of service, a severance payment will be made.
In order to facilitate international work, the transport of ESA goods is exempt from customs, import sales tax and other transport restrictions of the respective member state. The purchase of goods that are necessary for ESA's work is also exempt from sales tax.
|Member States||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of|
|Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of||Million €||proportion of|
|EUMETSAT / ECS states||5.8||0.5%||4.6||0.4%||75.0||9.8%||122.4||10.3%||147.9||9.8%||182.7||9.3%||221.1||13.6%||187.2||12.2%||200.4||11.1%||194.7||10.0%|
The ESA operates a large number of projects. These are partly carried out in-house and partly in cooperation with other space agencies.
The launchers ESA called Ariane , start near the equator in Kourou ( French Guiana ). The rocket launch near the equator offers fundamental advantages over launch sites far from the equator in the northern or southern hemisphere. Due to the rotation of the earth, the rocket already has the maximum basic speed mediated on the earth's surface and requires less fuel to reach the speed required in orbit. Ariane 1 was first launched in 1979. The current generation is Ariane 5 . In addition, Ariane 6 is under construction and should be significantly cheaper than Ariane 5. The first flight is planned for 2021.
In addition, the Vega launcher , which made its maiden flight in February 2012 , was developed for smaller payloads .
A scientific project of the ESA (Space Science) goes through the following phases before it is realized:
- Idea generation ( Call for Ideas ): During this phase, the scientific community is asked to propose missions. These proposals are examined by peer review committees and recommendations are made as to which proposals should advance to the next phase.
- Assessment phase ( assessment phase ): Now be a maximum of four missions from the Science Program Committee selected. The respective mission team designs the payload together with ESA engineers . The aim is to show the scientific value and the technical feasibility of the mission. One of the four missions will then be selected by the Space Science Advisory Committee for the next phase.
- Definition phase : Here the costs and the schedule for the mission are to be planned. At the end of the day, the contract partner entrusted with building the instruments is selected.
- Development phase: In this phase, the program is developed and implemented together with the selected industrial partner.
The projects can be classified into several areas of activity:
- Human Space Flight and Exploration
- The Human Spaceflight and Exploration division brings together ESA's efforts in the field of manned spaceflight . ESA does not have its own manned space program, but participates in various programs of other space agencies with its own contributions. This includes the activities related to the International Space Station and the European Astronaut Corps .
Active astronauts at ESA astronaut nationality entering at Age Samantha Cristoforetti Italy May 20, 2009 44 Pedro Duque Spain May 15, 1992 58 Alexander Gerst Germany May 20, 2009 45 Andreas Mogensen Denmark May 20, 2009 44 Luca Parmitano Italy May 20, 2009 44 Timothy Peake United Kingdom May 20, 2009 49 Thomas Pesquet France May 20, 2009 43 Roberto Vittori Italy Aug 1, 1998 56 Matthias Maurer Germany Feb. 2, 2017 51
- Observing the Earth
- The area Observing the Earth comprises the activities of ESA in the field of Earth observation for the purpose of weather forecasts with weather satellites , the long-term satellite measurements of environmental and climatic parameters (ice thickness, Earth's magnetic field, etc.) and the monitoring of risks (volcanic eruptions and floods).
- Research and Technology
- The development of basic technologies for the other areas belong to the Research and Technology area .
- Space Science (As a compulsory program, it is - the only one - compulsory for all members.)
- The exploration of the solar system and beyond with probes, robots and telescopes as well as the development of the necessary tools takes place in this area. The ESA's long-term plans for this area were developed in successive framework programs. In the mid-1980s, the Horizon 2000 was initially defined, which was updated in the mid-1990s in the Horizon 2000 Plus . As part of the subsequent Cosmic Vision process, the currently valid Plan Cosmic Vision 2015–2025 was developed, with the overarching questions: What are the conditions for the formation of planets and the emergence of life? How does the solar system work? What are the basic physical laws of the universe? How did the universe come about and what is it made of?
- In this sector, ESA mainly develops means of communication on earth with communication satellites .
|1975-1982||COS-B||First ESA mission, investigation of gamma radiation sources .|
|1977-1987||ISEE 2||Program of three spacecraft to study the interactions of the solar wind with the earth's magnetosphere . ISEE 1 and 3 were from NASA. After the primary mission, ISEE 3 was used as the ICE comet probe.|
|1977-2017||Meteosat 1-7||First generation European geostationary weather satellites. From Meteosat-4 onwards they were officially operational satellites.|
|1978-1996||IUE||Space telescope in the range of ultraviolet radiation that is absorbed by the atmosphere.|
|1978-1985||GEOS 2||Measurements of the earth's magnetosphere in the GEO. (Replacement satellite for GEOS 1)|
|1983-1986||EXOSAT||First ESA mission to examine X-ray sources .|
|1983-2002||ECS 1-5||ESA's first operational communication satellites, launched between 1983 and 1988. ECS 3 was lost in the event of a false start. They were operated by Eutelsat under the name Eutelsat I F-1 to F-5. Eutelsat I F-4 was the last to go out of service in 2002.|
|1985-1992||Giotto||ESA 's first deep space mission to Halley's Comet and Grigg-Skjellerup . Giotto first found traces of organic material on a comet.|
|1989-1993||Olympus||An extremely large experimental communications satellite for the time . It was a high performance television satellite working in the BSS band and conducting experiments in the Ku band and Ka band .|
|1989-1993||Hipparcos||Astremometric satellite, mapped around 100,000 stars with very high precision and more than a million stars with lower precision.|
|1990-2009||Ulysses||Probe that flew first over the solar poles . Provided knowledge about the magnetic field of the sun and the solar wind . (ESA and NASA, built in Europe)|
|1991-2000||ERS-1||With the first “Earth Remote Sensing” satellite, a new era of earth remote sensing began for ESA. Comprehensive data on the state of the seas, the atmosphere and land surfaces were collected using six instruments.|
|1992-1993||EURECA||Europe's free-flying platform was ESA's first reusable satellite and carried out microgravity experiments and much more. EURECA was launched from a space shuttle and captured by another.|
|1995-2011||ERS-2||Continued the work of ERS-1 to study the earth with radar , microwave and infrared sensors and also carried a new instrument for monitoring the ozone hole .|
|1995-1998||ISO||Space telescope in the infrared range|
|1997-2005||Huygens||In January 2005, the Huygens probe landed on Saturn's largest moon, Titan , photographed the surface and carried out chemical analyzes. This makes Huygens the first probe to land on a moon on another planet. (ESA's contribution to the NASA / ASI Cassini mission)|
|2001-2013||Artemis||Communications satellite. Should demonstrate direct connections to cell phone users on the ground, collect data from other satellites via laser beams and transmit navigation signals for EGNOS . (ESA and JAXA)|
|2002–2012||Envisat||The largest remote sensing satellite in the world at eight tons . Observed the earth with further developed versions of the instruments used at ERS-2 as well as with several new optical sensors.|
|2003-2006||SMART-1||A mission to the moon to determine the chemical composition of the surface. New technologies (for example an ion propulsion system as the main propulsion system) were also successfully tested. On September 3, 2006, the probe hit the moon as planned.|
|2005-2014||Venus Express||Space probe after the pattern of Mars Express , the Venus has been studied.|
|2005||SSETI Express||The "student satellite" was built by students and was intended to test technology for other student projects. German participation came from the universities of Stuttgart, Würzburg and Dortmund. However, the satellite failed shortly after launch.|
|2009-2013||Herschel||Infrared space telescope that observed the formation of stars and galaxies in the second Lagrange point . The mission ended when the liquid helium ran out.|
|2009-2013||Planck||Planck measured the cosmic background radiation with high accuracy at the second Lagrange point. This allows conclusions to be drawn about the Big Bang . On August 14, 2013, Planck was withdrawn from the L2 point and finally shut down on October 23, 2013.|
|2009-2013||GOCE||GOCE provided data on the earth's global and regional gravitational field. This has advanced research in the field of ocean circulation, the physics of the earth's interior, earth surveying and observation, and changes in sea levels.|
|2006-2014||COROT||COROT (Convection Rotation and Planetary Transits) was looking for exoplanets . The COROT mission was under the French leadership of CNES with ESA participation. The COROT telescope searched for gas giants (Hot Jupiters) and earth-like planets .|
|2008-2014||ATV||The ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) was an unmanned supply vehicle. It carried supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).|
|2015||IXV||The Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) was an unmanned and automatic spacecraft from ESA for researching the re-entry phases into the earth's atmosphere as well as a test platform for the technologies required for this, which can also be used in future reusable space shuttles.|
|2004-2016||Rosetta||The probe approached the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet and dropped a lander in November 2014. (ESA plus lander under German-French management). On September 30, 2016, at the end of the mission, she went down on the comet as planned.|
|2015-2017||LISA Pathfinder||LISA Pathfinder (formerly SMART-2) was a test mission for the technologies of the LISA mission. The detection of gravitational waves, formation flights and interference measurements were tested.|
|1990||Hubble Space Telescope||Telescope in the optical, UV and IR range (ESA and NASA)|
|1995||SOHO||Solar and heliosphere observatory. Has made discoveries about the interior and atmosphere of the sun and constantly monitors solar storms . (ESA and NASA, built in Europe)|
|1999||XMM Newtons||Space observatory with three telescopes, each equipped with 58 nested mirrors, for X-ray astronomy .|
|2000||Cluster II||Four satellites operated in a network. Provide a three-dimensional picture of collisions between the solar wind and the earth's magnetic field and of the associated magnetic storms in space. (ESA and NASA, built in Europe)|
|2001||Proba-1||A small satellite that acts largely autonomously and intelligently and yet is not expensive. Presentation of new technologies.|
|2002-2015||MSG||Second generation of Meteosat satellites. MSG-1 is in operation as Meteosat-8, MSG-2 as Meteosat-9, MSG-3 as Meteosat-10 . (ESA and EUMETSAT )|
|2002||integral||First space telescope that can observe objects in the visible, gamma-ray and X-ray range. One of the main goals is to study gamma bursts .|
|2003||Mars Express||First European Mars probe. In addition to a high-resolution stereo camera, it has a Fourier spectrometer to search for water resources. (ESA plus lander under British management)|
|2003||Double star||This mission, launched by ESA and the Chinese CNSA, is intended to investigate the effects of the sun on the climate with two satellites working together, similar to the cluster satellites.|
|2004||EGNOS||A project to support satellite navigation by specifying the error on position determination.|
|2005||Galileo||Satellite navigation system commissioned by the EU as an alternative to the Russian GLONASS or American GPS . Allows greater accuracy and availability, as well as the location of emergency transmitters.|
|2006-2018||METOP A, B, C||Weather satellites in polar orbit intended to replace two NOAA satellites . METOP-A started in 2006, METOP-B in 2012 and METOP-C in 2018. (ESA and EUMETSAT )|
|2006− ...||ARTES-11||As part of the project, a platform for small, geostationary satellites is to be developed under the name SmallGEO . "Artes" stands for "Advanced Research in Telecommunication Systems". The development is carried out by a consortium led by OHB .|
|2008||Columbus||The space laboratory is an ESA contribution to the International Space Station (ISS) . It was coupled to the space station in 2008 and serves as a multi-purpose laboratory for multidisciplinary research under conditions of weightlessness (space conditions).|
|2009||SMOS||The aim of SMOS is to create global maps of the soil water concentration and the salinity of the oceans. Above all, this would improve understanding of the water cycle and climate and storm forecasts.|
|2010||CryoSat-2||The Cryosat-2 satellite has an altitude radar that can measure the thickness of the polar ice sheet. The satellite is a replacement for the CryoSat, which was lost in 2005 due to a launcher failure.|
|2010||HYLAS||Small flexible communications satellite developed with ESA support.|
|2013||Alphasat I-XL||Experimental communication satellite from ESA and CNES based on the Alphabus satellite platform . Inmarsat wants to use the satellite for mobile communications in the L-band . There are four ESA experiments on board, including Transmitting facilities in the Q / V band (36–56 GHz) and laser communication with other satellites.|
|2013||Gaia||Astrometric survey, measures magnitudes, movement, colors and spectra of celestial objects. Gaia DR1 , Gaia DR2 and Gaia EDR3 have been released so far. Mission is extended until the end of fuel around 2025. The final catalog is expected three years after the end of the mission.|
|2013||SWARM||SWARM consists of three satellites that will study the dynamics of the earth's magnetic field.|
|2014||Sentinel-1 A||Earth observation satellite as part of Copernikus , which is supposed to make radar recordings according to the SAR principle in C-band and thus guarantee the data continuity of ERS and Envisat.|
|2016||ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter||Mission to explore the Martian atmosphere within the ExoMars project. In addition, a small lander (Schiaparelli) will be carried, with which landing techniques on Mars will be tested.|
|2016||Sentinel-1 B||Supplement to Sentinel-1A (part of Copernicus ). As a successor to ERS and Envisat, radar recordings are to be made according to the SAR principle in C-band in order to ensure data continuity for long-term research on climate impact research .|
|2018||ADM-Aeolus||This mission is intended to provide more precise data on atmospheric movements (wind) and thus improve forecasts with numerical weather forecast models.|
|2018||BepiColombo||This two-part ESA-JAXA mission, launched on October 20, 2018, is intended to map the planet Mercury and examine its magnetosphere in detail.|
|2019||CHEOPS||The Cheops space telescope is intended to determine the main properties of exoplanets that have already been discovered.|
|2020||Solar orbiter||The Solar Orbiter should come close to the sun up to 45 solar radii and deliver images of the solar atmosphere with a resolution of 100 km per pixel. The polar regions of the sun, which are not visible from the earth, should also be studied.|
Projects in development
Design study of the James Webb Space Telescope
|2021||ERA||European robotic arm to be attached to the Russian module of the ISS in 2020 at the earliest.|
|2021||IBDM||The International Berthing and Docking Mechanism (IBDM) is being developed as a docking adapter for manned spaceships. It is to be used in the Dream Chaser for coupling to the International Space Station.|
|2021-2032||MTG||The third generation of the successful Meteosat satellites.|
|2021||JWST||The James Webb Space Telescope is being developed by NASA in collaboration with ESA as the successor to the Hubble telescope.|
|2022||EarthCARE||The EarthCARE mission aims to collect data on the interactions between radiation, aerosol and cloud formation processes. This enables more accurate weather and climate models. The mission is being carried out jointly with the Japanese space agency JAXA .|
|2022||Euclid||Euclid is supposed to measure the acceleration of the expansion of the universe in order to be able to draw conclusions about the dark energy and matter.|
|2022||ExoMars Rover||A Mars rover as part of the Aurora program; Funding approved in December 2005.|
|2022||JUICE||Mission to the moons of Jupiter Europa , Callisto and Ganymede . An orbiter that is to enter an orbit around Ganymede after two flybys of Europe and one of Callisto. European part of the Europa Jupiter System Mission / Laplace from which NASA withdrew.|
|2022||Biomass||To determine the biomass that is in the forests, to study the carbon cycle on earth.|
|2023||Hera||Mission to the asteroid (65803) Didymos|
|2025||ClearSpace-1||ClearSpace-1 is a planned mission to test and eventually carry out the disposal of space debris . To this end, ESA contributed CHF 90 million to the ClearSpace.today project, which is expected to cost around CHF 120 million in total. A space probe equipped with four gripper arms will first intercept a stage rocket for test purposes and cause it to burn up in the earth's atmosphere . In the long term, orbiters should capture space debris.|
|2026||PLATO||PLA netary T ransits and O scillations of stars (PLATO) will be a probe for the discovery and investigation of extrasolar planets with a focus on earth-like planets in the habitable zone around sun-like stars.|
|2028||ARIEL||With the Ariel space observatory, acronym for Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-Survey Mission, around 1,000 extrasolar planets are to be observed over a period of four years, and their atmosphere in particular will be investigated|
|2028||Comet Interceptor||The Comet Interceptor is to be launched together with ARIEL and parked at Lagrange point L 2 of the earth-moon system. As soon as an opportunity arises, he should fly from there to a new comet or an interstellar object and examine it.|
|2026||Heracles||Moon lander and rover; Sample return mission to the Schrödinger crater , together with the Japanese and Canadian space agencies.|
|2031||ATHENA||This mission is intended to be the successor to the XMM Newton mission. It consists of two elements flying in formation, the detector and the mirror. It is supposed to go in search of the first black holes .|
|2034||LISA||Gravitational waves are to be detected with these detectors . For this purpose, the distance between three detectors flying in formation is precisely measured. This distance should change due to incoming gravitational waves.|
|Tandem||Mission to the Saturn moons Titan and Enceladus. An orbiter space probe is proposed, which should carry a balloon and a lander with it.|
|2014||ESMO||ESMO was supposed to be a lunar probe co-developed by students.|
|after 2015||Darwin||Darwin would have been a telescope consisting of four (originally planned eight) individual satellites, which should find Earth-like planets and also analyze their atmosphere.|
|2018||XEUS||This mission would have been the successor to the XMM Newton mission. It should have consisted of two elements flying in formation, the detector and the mirror. XEUS should start looking for the first black holes . Replaced by ATHENA.|
Projects with setbacks
|1977||GEOS 1||Measurements of the earth's magnetosphere were planned in the GEO , but stranded in an elliptical orbit due to a launcher error and could only achieve part of the goals. GEOS 2 worked according to plan|
|1985||ECS 3||ECS 3 was lost along with another satellite when the third stage of Ariane 3 failed to ignite. A replacement has started.|
|1996||Cluster (satellite)||The Ariane 5 took off on its maiden flight on June 4, 1996. After exactly 36.7 seconds, the rocket blew itself up with its payload, the four cluster satellites, after it began to break apart due to the aerodynamic loads of an extreme change of course. Four replacement satellites are successfully in use.|
|2005||CryoSat||The Cryosat satellite was equipped with an altitude radar to measure the thickness of the polar ice sheet. However, the satellite failed to reach orbit due to a failure of the launcher. With CryoSat-2 , a replacement was successfully sent into space in 2010.|
With the Space Situational Awareness Program, ESA operates a program for monitoring space. It is intended to recognize possible dangers at an early stage and to prevent or mitigate possible damage. It has three parts:
- Monitoring of satellite orbits and space debris
- Monitoring of near-earth objects such as asteroids on their orbit through space. The data on near-earth objects are published.
- Monitoring space weather . This enables satellite operators to take countermeasures.
ESA develops application satellites. As a rule, after a test phase, their operation is handed over to the independent company established for the respective satellite program, as soon as it is able to do so. Examples are Eutelsat for the ECS satellites and Meteosat for the weather satellites. However, today's Eutelsat satellites (unlike the weather satellites) are no longer developed in cooperation with ESA.
From November 2010 to June 2014, ESA published the podcast series Raumzeit in cooperation with DLR . The podcast will be moderated by Tim Pritlove , a member of the DLR and ESA staff, and interviewed on the various topics and tasks involved. In addition, the so-called ESA KIDS platform has been online since May 2011 . There children and young people can find out more about the European Space Agency.
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