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Aerial view of ESTEC

European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)

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ESA / About Us / ESTEC

The European Space Agency (ESA) and its 18 Member States work together to pursue a wide range of ambitious and exciting goals in space. Together, they create fascinating projects that would not be feasible for the individual Member States.

These projects generate new scientific knowledge and new practical applications in space exploration, and contribute to a vigorous European aerospace industry.

ESA has sites in several European countries. The European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), the largest site and the technical heart of ESA — the incubator of the European space effort — is in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. Most ESA projects are born here, and this is where they are guided through the various phases of development. More than 2000 specialists work here on dozens of space projects.

Giove-a, the first Galileo satellite, was prepared at ESTEC
Giove-a, the first Galileo satellite, was prepared at ESTEC

Except for launchers, nearly all ESA projects are managed from ESTEC. In Noordwijk, people work on science missions, on human spaceflight, telecom, satellite navigation, and Earth observation. ESTEC also houses a large pool of people with highly specialised technical knowledge, who are assigned to space projects when their expertise is needed for missions.

If you want to know more about ESTEC, please have a look at the ESTEC Tour!

Contact information

Europe's cargo spaceship for the ISS, <i>Jules Verne</i>, is currently undergoing testing at ESTEC
Europe's cargo spaceship for the ISS, Jules Verne, is currently undergoing testing at ESTEC

ESTEC is located in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. Our postal address is:

European Space Research & Technology Centre
Keplerlaan 1
Postbus 299
2200 AG Noordwijk (The Netherlands)

General number +31 (0)71 565 6565
Communications Office +31 (0)71 565 3006
Hotel desk +31 (0)71 565 5858
Travel desk +31 (0)71 565 8030
Conference bureau +31 (0)71 565 5056

How to get to ESTEC

By car:
ESTEC is located at the southern tip of Noordwijk. Coming from Den Haag (The Hague), take the A44 motorway in the direction Amsterdam/Wassenaar and exit at 'Leiden' (exit 8). Follow the N206 in the direction Katwijk and Haarlem. Take the exit 'Katwijk Noord'. From there follow the signs 'ESA Estec' (small white traffic signs).

From Amsterdam, take the A4 in the direction Den Haag-Rotterdam, then at the junction follow the A44. Take the exit Noordwijk-Voorhout, continue to Noordwijk and from there, follow the signs 'ESA Estec'.

By train:
From Leiden Central station, take bus 33 to Katwijk. It stops in front of the entrance gate of ESTEC (the journey takes about 30 minutes). Please note that this bus leaves twice an hour during rush-hour periods and only once hourly during normal hours.

By air:
From Schiphol airport, either take a taxi to ESTEC (30 minutes), or a train to Leiden (15 minutes) and then bus number 33 (30 minutes). With a rental car, follow the instructions above from Amsterdam.