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Frequently asked questions

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ESA / Services

Thank you for your interest in ESA. We welcome all questions and comments. However, due to the large volume of emails received, we cannot respond to every question or provide research assistance. Before emailing us, please browse the Frequently Asked Questions below to see if your query has already been answered.

Careers and training at ESA

How do I apply for a post at ESA?

How often are new jobs posted on your website?

Can I send an open application?

How long do vacancies remain posted on the site?

Will you confirm receipt of my application?

What happens to my online application?

Can I apply for more than one job at a time?

How many employees work at ESA worldwide?

Where are ESA staff located?

What are the working languages of the Agency?

I’m not a national of one of the Member States. Can I still apply?

Where can I find vacancies for a specific ESA establishment?

What is the difference between a permanent post and an advanced recruitment post?

What kind of working conditions and benefits can I expect?

The vacancy I am interested in states that the post is in the A2-A4 grade band. How does this translate into pay?

What is your policy on gender equality?

I am a high school/secondary school student and am looking for a summer job. What possibilities are there at ESA?

I am a high school/secondary school student and would like to be an astronaut. How should I proceed and what qualifications do I need?

I’ve recently graduated from university. Can I apply for a post at ESA?

What is the difference between the National Trainee Programmes and the Young Graduate Trainee (YGT) Programme?

I am a national of a country with a national trainee programme, can I still apply for the YGT programme?

I am a university student. Can I carry out a placement at ESA as part of my degree course?

I have just obtained my PhD, can I carry out my research topic at ESA?

Which educational studies are most suitable for work at ESA?

Does ESA run any activities on space for students?

I need to speak to someone in ESA's Human resources department about jobs and/or training opportunities. The questions I have are not answered in this FAQ. What should I do?

Science and exploration

What is space science?

Why does ESA do space science?

What is the ESA Science Programme for?

Where does ESA space science happen?

Where can I find technical information/images about ESA's scientific satellites?

Why do the Earth and other planets orbit around the Sun?

Does the Sun itself spin? If so, how fast?

How would we know if a distant planet had an Earth-like atmosphere?

Why can't we get pictures of planets outside the Solar System?

There's a vacuum in space, so how do we know if the Sun makes a noise?

What is a comet tail made of?

Do you have to wear safety goggles to observe the Sun?

Is there really a face on Mars?

How can I become an astronaut?

How can I get information/photos of the ESA astronauts?

Can I see the ISS from my hometown?

Do you think it will be feasible to send people to Mars in the short-term?

Space safety and security

What is ‘space weather’?

Do sunspots affect the climate here on Earth?

How big are the largest sunspot groups?

Do rocket launches harm the ozone layer?

What are the risks of nuclear power sources for space probes?

Applications

What is Galileo?

Why does Europe need Galileo?

Who's involved in Galileo?

What are the market prospects and business opportunities related to Galileo?

Where can I find a technical overview of the Galileo navigation system?

Who will benefit from Galileo?

What is EGNOS?

How does EGNOS work?

Who's involved in EGNOS?

Who benefits from EGNOS?

Will the Galileo navigation system be compatible with the American GPS?

Where can I find technical information/images regarding Earth Observation satellites?

Doing business with ESA

Can my company work for ESA?

How to participate in ESA procurements?

How do I get information concerning the ESA procurement and contracts?

How do I get information about standards to be used in space projects (materials, software, etc.)?

Enabling and support

How do launchers work?

When is the next launch?

Why is ESA's launcher called Ariane?

Where can I find out about upcoming launches?

What's the difference between a geostationary orbit and a low Earth orbit?

Is it possible to visit ESA's Spaceport in Kourou and see a launch?

Images

I want to use ESA photos/material. How should I proceed with the copyright issue?

I need some information about ESA images. Who can I contact?

Publications

Where can I find and download ESA publications?

Where can I find out about past ESA projects?

Media

I am a registered member of the media. How can I contact an ESA spokesperson?

I would like information about upcoming events/conferences. Where can I look?

ESA visits

Can I visit ESA Headquarters?

Can I visit ESOC?

Can I visit ESA’s technical research centre ESTEC in Noordwijk (NL)?