The mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) is to shape the development of Europe’s space capabilities and make sure that investments in the space field continue to benefit people in general, in Europe and beyond. ESA designs and implements a common European space programme together with its Member States, and maintains close relations with the European Union to establish a European space policy.
ESA currently has 22 Member States across Europe and has cooperation agreements with several other European countries. ESA works closely with space organisations outside Europe and has, in particular, a cooperation agreement with Canada for some specific programmes.
ESA implements a range of programmes with the objective of finding out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our solar system and the universe. The programmes also aim at developing satellite-based technologies and services, and at promoting European industries. All Member States contribute to ESA’s mandatory programmes. Most activities are, however, implemented through optional programmes to which the Member States contribute on a voluntary basis. Luxembourg contributes to the following optional programmes:
ESA’s industrial policy aims to strengthen the skills and competitiveness of the European space industry. Organisations applying for participation in ESA programmes must follow certain steps and procedures. They also need to study the different kinds of ESA contracts and the rules for managing intellectual property rights.
Luxembourg's ESA participation
Luxembourg joined ESA in 2005, a decision based on the government’s intention to support the space sector as a means for diversifying the country’s economy and making it more sustainable. Since then, Luxembourg has developed its own space policy, increased its contribution to ESA programmes and set aside a budget for implementing a national space programme, LuxIMPULSE. A national support measure, LuxLAUNCH, has been set up to encourage and promote the participation of Luxembourg organisations active in the space field in ESA programmes.