European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA’s job is to draw up the European space programme and carry it through.

ESA's programmes are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries. ESA also works closely with space organisations outside Europe.

ESA work profiles

The European Space Agency is mainly looking for electrical-, soft- & hardware engineers, physicists, business-, mechanical- and aerospace engineers, as well as mathematicians, statisticians, biologists/physicians and legal experts. Each ESA staff member has to have the nationality of one of the ESA Member States.

ESA offers permanent job opportunities for seasoned professionals (min. 3-5 years of working experience), the Young Graduate Trainee Programme (YGT) for students who have just attained their Master Degree, and the Research Fellowship Programme (RF) for post docs.

Member State countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Canada takes part in some projects under a Cooperation agreement. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia are “European Cooperating States”.

Supranational organization

ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it does undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA is an entirely independent organisation although it maintains close ties with the EU through an ESA/EC Framework Agreement. The two organisations share a joint European Strategy for Space and have together developed the European Space Policy.

Space Missions

ESA’s mandatory activities (space science programmes and the general budget) are funded by a financial contribution from all the Agency’s Member States, calculated in accordance with each country’s gross national product. In addition, ESA conducts a number of optional programmes. Each Member State decides in which optional programme they wish to participate and the amount they wish to contribute. ESA operates on the basis of geographical return, i.e. it invests in each Member State, through industrial contracts for space programmes, an amount more or less equivalent to each country’s contribution.

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