The European Space Agency, better known as simply ESA is a collaboration between the individual space agencies of European Countries. Although the United States has its own space agency (NASA), it is an associate member which it provides an shares information. The Agency was established in 1975 by the founding members but since then, other nations have joined. The ten founding members of ESA are :- Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, The, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. It is not controlled by the European Parliament, but answerable to national Governments. It is answerable only to them when the money for missions comes from the European Commission budget such as the Galileo project failure.1. Although ESA is the collaborative effort of European countries, each European country has its own space agency.
Over time, more nations have joined such as Romania in 2011. For the 2013 year, the biggest financial contributor to ESA was Germany with a contribution of 772.7 Million but France was the biggest contributor in comparison to its government budget with 0.074% of its budget.2.
- Headquarters, Paris, France
- ESTEC (European Space Research and Technology Centre), Noordwijk, the Netherlands where development of technology and testing is carried out.
- ESRIN (European Space Reseach INstituite) ESA Centre for Earth Observation, where data from satellites are analyzed, Frascati, Italy
- European Mission Control is in Darmstadt, Germany
- European Astronaut Centre where Euronauts are trained for missions into space, Cologne, Germany
- ESAC (European Space Astronomy Centre) the centre for astronomy and planetary missions, Villanueva de la Canada, Spain
- ECSAT (European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications), deals with telecommunications, integrated applications, climate change, technology and science, Harwell, England
-CSG (Centre spatial guyanais) in French Guiana is the location for ESA rocket launches, located outside of Europe, near the Equator.
The agency trains its people to go into space at their station in Germany. The British Government does not support the idea of financing people into space, the first Briton in space Helen Sharman was put into space through commercial organisational backing. Although the British Government doesn`t finance such missions, ESA chose him to go into space as their representative in 2015, his mission name is Principia in recognition of Sir Isaac Newton and his work into gravity. ESA is involved in the international space station although some countries such as the British Government is not involved.