Cooperation with the United States

The content of the transatlantic space cooperation has expanded over the years, leading to an addition of major projects implemented in a bilateral or a multilateral context.

This cooperation is built today around six programmatic pillars:

  1. Space science
  2. Human spaceflight
  3. Satellite navigation
  4. Meteorology
  5. Earth science/ Earth observation (other than meteorology)
  6. Space exploration.

ESA plays a critical role in all six areas.

The transatlantic dialogue

IAC 2006 Valencia SPAIN
Mr. Dordain (right) and Mr. Griffin (left) at the IAC in Valencia

Transatlantic cooperation is destined to grow and expand to new areas. Early signs of greater visibility of these cooperative undertakings has been witnessed in recent years.

During the EU-US summit on 20 June 2005, both sides agreed to initiate a dialogue on civil space cooperation as part of the 'European Union and United States initiative to enhance transatlantic economic integration and growth'. This summit brought together the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, the High Representative for the European Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), and the US in Washington, DC. The leaders explored means to eliminate impediments to further economic integration and to develop a forward-looking strategy to enhance the EU-US economic partnership.

More particularly, actions were taken to promote cooperation using civilian space-based technologies for sustainable development, science and exploration, and deepening the knowledge society. Targeted initiatives will encourage collaboration on long-term basic research within the context of the EU-US Science and Technology Agreement, and develop exchanges of good practices concerning the policies needed to support science and innovation. EU-US meetings are taking place at on a regular basis.

The European Space Agency in the United States

ESA maintains contacts with the US government at large but its main partner agencies are the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Last update: 15 November 2007

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