European Space Agency facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
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ESA Mission Control at ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany
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European Space Agency or ESA is an international organisation with 22 member countries. Its job is to explore space.

Its headquarters are in Paris, France. ESA has a staff of more than 2,000 with an annual budget of about €4.43 billion / US$5.51 billion (2015).

The member countries of ESA are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

ESA's space flight programme includes

  • human spaceflight,
  • the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon,
  • Earth observation.
  • running a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana,
  • designing launch vehicles.

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.

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