Portal:European Space Agency

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The European Space Agency Portal

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The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 20 member states and one associated state. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of close to 2,000 with an annual budget of about €2.9 billion in 2007.

ESA's main spaceport is the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, a site made available by France. It is close to the equator, hence commercially important orbits are easier to access. ESA became the market leader in commercial space launches in the 1990s. In recent years, ESA has also established itself as a major player in space exploration.

ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, and the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany.

Selected picture

The ESOC control room in Darmstadt, Germany


The ESOC control room in Darmstadt, Germany

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  • Information and articles related to ESA's history are currently in a mess; a collaborative effort is much needed. Facilities should have separate articles.

Please join the ESA Task Force, a subdivision of WikiProject Europe, if you are interested.

Featured person

Jean-François Clervoy

Jean-François André Clervoy (born November 19, 1958) is a French astronaut and a veteran of three NASA Space Shuttle missions.

Clervoy was born in Longeville-lès-Metz, France. He has a twin brother, Patrick, a military physician. He joined the French Air Force, where he trained as a test pilot. He was selected as an astronaut candidate by France in 1985 and trained extensively at the Russian Star City before being named to the European Space Agency's astronaut corps in 1992. He flew on three Space Shuttle flights as a mission specialist: STS-66 (1994), STS-84 (1997) and STS-103 (1999), a Hubble Space Telescope repair mission.

He is now working on the Automated Transfer Vehicle program as support spationaut. He is also president of Novespace, the European company which provides zero-g flights with an Airbus A300.

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