European Space Agency (ESA), is an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, ESA has a worldwide staff of about 2,200 in 2018.
European Space Agency (ESA), 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.
ESA had ten founding member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.These signed the ESA Convention in 1975 and deposited the instruments of ratification by 1980, when the convention came into force.
During this interval the agency functioned in a de facto fashion. ESA launched its first major scientific mission in 1975, Cos-B, a space probe monitoring gamma-ray emissions in the universe, which was first worked on by ESRO.
ESA's purpose shall be to provide for, and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among the European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems
ESA is responsible for setting a unified space and related industrial policy, recommending space objectives to the member states, and integrating national programs like satellite development, into the European program as much as possible.
ESA's space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station programme); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana.
The agency is also working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.
According to en.wikipedia