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ESA European Space Agency is an organization made up of 22 European states, based in Paris, dedicated to space exploration.

Participation of European countries in ESA European Space Agency

ESA is made up of  twenty two member states.

After several European countries started, since 1962, various activities and projects in the field of space research, they decided to unify efforts.

With this objective in mind, they established, on May 31, 1975, the European Space Agency (ESA), which currently employs around 1,900 people and has an annual budget of around 3,600 million euros.

ESA European Space Agency structures are highly decentralized.

  • The scientific operations base is located in Noordwijk, in the Netherlands (in South Holland).
  • The Earth observation missions are based in Frascati, Italy.
  • Mission control is located in Darmstadt, Germany.
  • The European Astronaut Center is located in Cologne, Germany.
  • The European Center for Space Astronomy is installed in Villanueva de la Cañada, Community of Madrid, Spain.

In the next few years, it is likely that many of the countries that joined the European Union, after the 2004 enlargement, will also become part of ESA.

Projects developed by ESA

The launch site for ESA’s Ariane vehicles is the Kourou Spaceport, located in French Guiana.

Mars Express. ESA European Space Agency
ESA Mars Express probe. Credit: web “”

NASA officially announced in January 2013 its participation in ESA’s Euclid mission, a space telescope that will be launched into orbit in 2020 and is designed to investigate the mysterious nature of matter and dark energy.

Dark matter is invisible, but its gravitational pull is slowing the expansion of the Universe.

We currently believe that we know that the billions of galaxies, each containing hundreds and billions of stars, constitute only a tiny part of all the matter in the Universe (a scant 10%) and that all the rest (90%) it is absolutely invisible and unknown.

These are properties inconsistent with the characteristics proposed by physics and do not appear in serious science fiction writing.How do we know it exists if it does not emit or reflect enough electromagnetic radiation detectable by the sophisticated instruments available in the 21st century?

The gravitational effects measured in the matter that we can visualize, lead us to think that there is something “unknown” that we cannot perceive and that it constitutes nothing less than the remaining 95% of the Universe.

There are studies and observations that corroborate the fact that many galaxies are made up mainly of dark matter.

The Milky Way is believed to be 90% dark matter and only 10% ordinary matter.

To detect it with greater certainty, researchers will have to wait for new data to be obtained from the Hubble space telescope, for the results of the James Webb space telescope, launched in 2013 and. above all, to the information provided by the Euclid space probe scheduled for 2020 and in the development of which Spain has a special participation.

Dark energy, however, seems to be speeding it up. These two mysterious components are postulated to constitute more than 95% of the mass and total energy of the Universe. But what they really are remains a mystery.