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THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY
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- Title THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY
- Released 09/10/2009 3:42 pm
- Copyright ESA
For several decades Europe has been actively involved in spaceflight. Since 1975, the European Space Agency, ESA, has been pooling the resources of its Member States to build a European space capability in order to undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.
ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities. Today it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System, and cooperates in the human exploration of space.
ESA has 19 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Canada also sits on the ESA Council and takes part in certain programmes under a cooperation agreement. Hungary, Poland, Estonia and Slovenia participate in a Plan for European Cooperating States and other countries are currently under discussions to join this initiative.