(ESA) French Agence Spatiale Europenne (ASE) western European space and space-technology research organization founded in 1975 from the merger of the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO) and the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO), both established in 1964. Members include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Finland has been an associate member since 1987 (the year in which Austria and Norway joined the agency), and Canada in 1981 signed a special cooperative agreement. Headquarters of the agency are in Paris. Representatives of the ESA's member nations form the agency's policy-making council. A science program committee established by convention deals with matters related to the mandatory science program; other such bodies may be formed by the council to assist in decision making. The chief executive and legal representative of the ESA is the director general, assisted by an inspector general and the directors of various departments. The principal components of the organization are (1) the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), located in The Netherlands, which houses the satellite project teams and testing facilities and is the agency's main space science and technological research centre; (2) the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), located in Germany, which is concerned with satellite control, monitoring, and data retrieval; (3) the European Space Research Institute (ESRIN), located in Italy, which supports the ESA Information Retrieval Service and the Earthnet program, the system by which remote sensing images are retrieved and distributed; and (4) the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), located in Germany, which is a training centre. The European Space Agency has cooperated with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on many projects and, on its own, was responsible for the Giotto space probe, which enabled examination of the core of Halley's Comet in 1986. The ESA also developed Ariane, a three-stage launch vehicle, and established a system of meteorological satellites known as Meteosat.
EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY
Meaning of EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY in English
Britannica English vocabulary. Английский словарь Британика. 2012