Intergovernmental space exploration agency with 23 member states, established on May 30, 1975. The organization's 2015 budget topped 4.4 billion euros.
Headquartered in Paris, France, its primary spaceport is the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana. Although reliant on Russian or US propulsion, the ESA maintains an astronaut corps from various member countries, regularly dispatching them to the International Space Station. Among their number was German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who stayed on the ISS for six months in 2014. This page collates DW's latest content related to ESA.
Czech scientists are offering people the chance to record an audio message to be transmitted back to Earth from the surface of Mars. A global competition is being launched to choose 11 recorded messages to be taken on board the joint European-Russian ExoMars mission, which is due for lift-off next year. One of the messages will be chosen to be beamed back to test the transmitting technology.
In 60 years of space exploration, we've placed almost 7,000 satellites in orbit. Less than a third still function. The rest is dangerous junk - and their number is growing. Here's how we might mitigate the threat.
Astro Alex, back on terra firma after nearly six months in space, stressed the importance of protecting our planet for future generations. And as for re-entry, wind and weather feel great after so long in zero gravity.