European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)

Centre européen de recherche et de technologie spatiales

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1967, as European Space Technology Centre -- Centre européen de technologie spatiale, on the entry into force of convention establishing the European Space Research Organization (ESRO) -- Organisation européenne de recherches spatiales (OERS), and pursuant to a resolution adopted at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries, 14 June 1962, Paris (France), and amended by ESRO Council on 22 Oct 1964. Agreement for establishment of the Centre in the Netherlands signed 2 Feb 1967, The Hague (Netherlands), confirmed 1 July 1967, Paris. A new convention, signed 31 May 1975, setting up European Space Agency (ESA), resulted in the termination of the ESRO convention. ESTEC is therefore currently not an autonomous entity but the largest establishment of ESA.


Study, design, develop and test spacecraft in collaboration with European industrial and scientific communities; ensure that the technology required by future space projects is available on time; by close association with industry, further Europe's competitiveness on the world's high-technology markets.

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Accommodates majority of project teams responsible for ESA space programme developments, the Space Science Department and technological research and support engineers.

1. /Project Management/ for most European space projects, including studies, preparatory programmes and complete development phase for future projects. Operational projects and projects under development include: Artemis; Galileo; ENVISAT; Meteosat 2nd Generation; Metop; Cryosat; Aeolus; Cluster-II; XMM-Newton; Integral; Rosetta; Herschel/Planck; JWST; GAIA; Lisa Pathfinder; Solar Orbiter; Bepi Colombo; Microgravity Payloads; Sentinels; HYLAS; Columbus and Automated Transfer Vehicle; other contributions to the International Space Station.

2. /Space Technology Programme/ in several consecutive phases: 'Basic Technology Programme' generates the new technology needed in medium- and long-term for future missions, aiming to demonstrate feasibility; 'Supporting Technology Programmes' continue this process and demonstrate flight-suitability of the system; 'Technology Demonstration Programme' provides in-orbit demonstration opportunities.

3. /Test Centre for Environmental Testing of Spacecraft/ provides facilities to test spacecraft on Earth, under conditions simulating those encountered from lift-off onwards. These include: 'Large Space Simulator', simulating vacuum, solar radiation conditions and extremes of temperature encountered in space; electro-dynamic shakers, hydraulic large shakers 'Hydra' and 'Large Acoustic Facility', simulating vibration levels at lift-off; 'Compact Payload Antenna Test Range', to calibrate telecommunications and earth resources payloads, 'Maxwell', large chamber for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing.

4. /Specialized Laboratories/ for the most relevant space technology; new microgravity laboratories under construction.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 1 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 4 non-governmental organizations.
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Members in 26 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Transportation, Telecommunications
    • Aerospace, Space
  • Industry
    • Industry
  • Research, Standards
    • Research
  • Technology
    • Technology
  • Science
    • Science

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production



Last News Received

1. Nov 2011
* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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