European space Agency

of these articles is occupied with the European space travel organization ESA. For further meanings of ESA see ESA (term clarifying).
ESA headquarters in Paris

the European space Agency (ESA) is the European space travel organization with seat in Paris, France. Them became to 30. May 1975 for the better co-ordination of the European space travel activities based, there the technological arrears in space travel opposite the USSR and the USA due to the immense efforts of both countries in the middle 20. Century alwaysbecame larger. It has 17 member states and employed 2004 1904 coworkers (2003 - 1790). It is the successor organization of the ELDO and the ESRO.

The ESA is common to space DATA of system with NASA initial member of the Consultative Committee for (CCSDS).

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ESOC-Kontrollraum in Darmstadt
ESOC control room in Darmstadt

member states

member states of the ESA

to the initial members of 1975 belong:

further member states:


the ESA finances itself from thatNational budget of the member states. The portions of the individual states depend on the gross domestic product of the respective state. It thereby distinctive between obligation programs at which all member states are committed to a number of optional programs to take part, as well as with those it thatindividual states it is released whether they would like themselves to take part or not. The ESA budget amounted to 2003 and 2004 per 2.7 billion Euro.


the booster rockets of the ESA are called Ariane. The newest generation is the Ariane 5.Besides for smaller pay loads the booster rocket Vega is developed.

final projects

1975 - 1982 COS-B first mission of the ESA, which examined sources of gamma radiation.
1978 - 1996 IUE space telescope, which makes pictures within the range of the ultraviolet radiation, otherwise throughthe atmosphere would be absorbed.
1983 - 1986 EXOSAT first mission of the ESA, which examined sources of X-radiation.
1985 - 1992 Giotto first Deep space mission of the ESA, which visited the Halley's comet and the comet Grigg Skjellerup. Giotto found for the first time tracesof organic material on a comet.
1989 - 1993 Hipparcos of cartography ores of about 100,000 stars with very higher and more than one million stars with lower precision.
1991 - 2000 ERS-1 with the first “Earth remote Sensing” satellite began for thoseESA a new era of the earth remote sensing. With six instruments, under it a Synthetic Aperture radar, a microwave altimeter and various optical sensors became equipped extensive of this mission Data for the condition of the seas, the atmosphere and the land surfaces collected.
1995 - 1998 ISO space telescope in the infrared range
1997 - in January 2005 the probe Huygens on the largest Saturn - moon , landed 2005 Huygens titanium, and accomplished chemical analyses. (Contribution of the ESA to the NASA mission Cassini)
2005 CryoSat the Cryosat satellite was alsoan elevator radar equipped, with which the thickness of the polar ice sheet should be measured. The satellite reached however no orbit due to an error of the booster rocket.

current projects

1990 Hubble Weltraumteleskop optical telescope (NASA and ESA)
1990 Ulysses probe, thoseas the first over the sun poles flew. Supplied realizations over the magnetic field of the sun and the solar wind. (ESA and NASA, in Europe built)
1995 SOHO sunning and Heliosphärenobservatorium. Discoveries over the inside and the atmosphere of the sun made andsupervised permanently sunning towers. (ESA and NASA, in Europe built)
1995 ERS-2 continue the work from ERS-1 to the investigation of the earth with radar -, microwaves - in addition and infrared sensors and lead a new instrument to the monitoring of the ozone hole with.
1999 XMM Newton space observatory with three telescopes, which are equipped with 58 mirrors inserted into each other in each case, for the Roentgen astronomy
2000 cluster four in the group operated satellite. Obtain a three-dimensional picture of collisions between the solar wind and the magnetic field of the earth andof the associated storms in space. (ESA and NASA, in Europe built)
2001 kind-badly communications satellite. Is to demonstrate direct connections to portable radio users at the soil, over laser beams data from other satellites to collect and navigation signals for EGNOS transfer. (ESA and Japan)
2001 Proba a small satellite, which acts to a large extent autonomously and intelligently and is nevertheless not expensive. Conception of new technologies.
2002 Envisat the European remote sensing satellite largest with eight tons. Observes the earth with further developed remarks of the instruments used with ERS-2 as well as alsoseveral new optical sensors.
2002 - 2005 MSG the successors of the successful Meteosat - satellites pictures in the visible and in the Infrarot-Spektrum as well as other data collect. (MSG-1 started 2002 and since 2004 as Meteosat 8 in the operational enterprise, MSG-2 started to21. December 2005) (ESA and EUMETSAT)
2002 integral first space telescope, which can observe objects both in the visible, gamma-ray and Roentgen range. One of the principal purposes is the research of gamma Bursts.
2003 Mars express first European Mars probe. Possesses beside onehighly soluble Stereo-Kamera a Fourier Spekrometer to the search of water occurrences. (ESA plus landing equipment under British line)
2003 SMART-1 a mission to the moon, which is to determine the chemical composition of the moon. Also new technologies (for example an ion drive as main drive) are testedbecome.
2003 doubles star this mission started of the ESA and the Chinese CNSA is similarly as the cluster satellites with two together working satellites the effects of the sun for the climate to examine.
2004 Rosetta probe and countries, are first overEarth, Mars and Jupiter momentum take and then to the comet Tschurjumow Gerasimenko approach, where the countries 2014 is to be set off. (ESA plus landing equipment under French-German line)
2004 EGNOS a project for the support of the satellite navigation by indication of the error on thosePositioning.
2005 SSETI express „the student satellite “by students and technology for further student projects was built is to test. German participation came from the universities from Stuttgart, peppering castle and Dortmund.
2005 Venus express space probe, those after the sample Mars of the express the Venus to examine is.
2005 - 2008 Galileo on behalf the European Union are to supply this satellite navigation system as alternative to the Russian GLONASS or American government inspection departments higher accuracy and availability.

projects in the development

2006 COROT this mission is Exoplaneten,thus planets outside of our solar system find. The planned dissolution is so good that one does not only want to find gas giants , but also earthsimilar planets thereby.
2006 METOP-1 meteorological satellite on a polar orbit, that as successors of two satellites of the NOAAto serve is. (ESA and EUMETSAT)
2007 ATV the automatic transfer vehicle (ATV) is an unmanned spaceship, which EAT with supply to supply is.
2007 GOCE GOCE is data to supply, from which one global and regional models of the gravitational field of the earth andtheir form to provide can. Thus the research is brought to the physics of the interior of the earth, the geodesy in front in the range of the sea circulation, and - observation and the change of the sea levels.
2007? Columbus European space laboratory to EAT.
2007 ERA European bionic arm, thaton the Russian module EAT to be attached is.
2007 LISA Pathfinder (ehm. SMART-2) LISA Pathfinder is a mission, which technologies to the LISA - mission to test is. Thereby particularly highly precise formation flights and interference measurements go around.
2007 Herschel Herschel is inplanned space telescope that in 2.Point of lying rank the emergence of stars and galaxies to observe is.
2007 Planck Planck will measure the cosmic background radiation with high accuracy. Thus one can draw conclusions on the Big Bang.
2007 ADM Aeolus this mission is more exact dataover atmospheric movements (wind) supply and thus forecasts with numeric weather forecast models improve.
2007 SMOS by SMOS are to be provided global maps of the soil water concentration and the Salzgehaltes of the seas. This became above all the understanding of the water circulation and the climatic andTempest forecasts improve.
Those consists 2009 SWARM SWARM the dynamics of the earth's magnetic field will examine of three satellites.
2009 CryoSat-2 of the Cryosat-2-Satellit are equipped with an elevator radar, with which the thickness of the polar ice sheet is to be measured. The satellite is a replacementfor the 2005 due to a booster rocket error CryoSat which was lost.
2011 ExoMars a Mars Rover in the context of the Aurora - program, financing in December 2005 approves.
2013 JWST the James Webb space telescope becomes by NASA in co-operation with the ESA as a successor of theHubble telescope develops.
2024, 2033 Aurora long-term project that with the study of the solar system concerns itself. Contain the development a moon and a Mars mission manned by technologies for. The first step could the ExoMars - mission represent.

suggested projects

with theseIt is still unclear to projects whether they are to be really started in this form.

2011 Gaia this astro+metric mission mission the brightness as a successor of the Hipparcos, which distance and the movement measure from over stars in every detail, is.
2012 BepiColombo thesefrom two parts existing mission is to kartographieren the planet Merkur and examine its Magnetosphäre exactly.
2013 solarly orbiter that solarly orbiters are to approximate the sun up to 45 sun radii and photographs of the sun atmosphere with a dissolution of 100 kmper pixel supply. Also the polar regions of the sun, which are not visible by the earth, are to be studied.
2013 LISA with these detectors are to be proven gravitation waves. In addition the distance between three detectors flying to formation flight is precisely measured. ThisDistance is to change by arriving gravitation waves.
after 2014 Darwin Darwin is a telescope consisting of four (only should it eight become) individual satellites, which is to find earthsimilar planets and analyze additionally their atmosphere.
after 2014 XEUS this mission is the successor XMM Newton mission represent. It consists of two elements flying to formation, the detector and the mirror. It is to go thereby on the search for the first black holes.

see also

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