Portal:European Space Agency

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ESA Headquarters in Paris, France

The European Space Agency (ESA; French: Agence spatiale européenne, ASE; German: Europäische Weltraumorganisation) is an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, France, ESA has a worldwide staff of about 2,000 and an annual budget of about €5.25 billion / US$5.77 billion (2016).

ESA's space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module, that will fly on the Space Launch System.

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The ESOC control room in Darmstadt, Germany

The ESOC control room in Darmstadt, Germany

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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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