European Space Agency (ESA)

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 + 33 1 53 69 76 54
 + 33 1 53 69 75 60
8-10 rue Mario Nikis, Paris, France, 75738

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space. ESA is established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, France. ESA's space flight programme includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station programme, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles.

ESA facilities are distributed among the following 5 research centers:

-- ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands;
-- Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy;
-- ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany;
-- The European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany;
-- The European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain.