Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

European Space Agency

  • David W. Latham
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1778-3


The European Space Agency (ESA) was established in 1975 and is responsible for coordinating the exploration of space by its member countries, which numbered 18 in 2010: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom and Canada as an associated member. ESA’s program includes human space flight, primarily through participation in the International Space Station, and a variety of scientific missions. Of particular interest to astrobiology is Gaia, an all-sky astrometric survey mission that will detect hundreds, if not thousands, of extrasolar planets. ESA is also committed to the exploration of Mars, most notably with the successful Mars Express Mission launched in 2003, and the ill-fated Beagle-2 Lander in the exploration of Titan with the successful landing at the surface of the satellite of the Huygens probein 2005, and in the exploration...


International Space Station European Space Agency Space Mission Space Flight Extrasolar Planet 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsCambridgeUSA