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ESA / Services

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

The Galileo system is designed to be compatible and interoperable with GPS. The Galileo geodetic reference frame will be linked to ITRF (International Terrestrial Reference Frame) to which the GPS Reference frame is also linked. There are also plans to broadcast the time offset between Galileo and GPS times.

Recent discussions have concluded that the GPS and Galileo signals are fully compatible from a radio frequency point of view. Working together, Galileo and GPS will improve continuity and availability for the ATC users.

 Why are the European launchers called Ariane?

Initially named LS3 for "Lanceur trois étages de substitiution", in 1971 it was decided to find a less technical name for the European launcher. Three names were proposed: Penelope, Phoenix and Ariane. ESA chose the last. Its origin goes back to "Ariane’s thread" and the mythological legend of Thesee.

How can I see a launch?

For more information on how to see a launch check Attend a launch

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

You may freely use the images you find on our site, as long as it is not for commercial use. You may not modify the images. If you intend to use any of the images on a website, please acknowledge that it originates from ESA. For more information, see our Terms and conditions of use.

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

Send your request to spaceinimages @

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

Refer to ESA's Earthnet Online Service, which contains many resources on Earth Observation. We also maintain Envisat, MSG and MetOp websites.

I'm looking for the ESA Bulletin. Where can I find this and other publications?

ESA maintains its own Publications website, where a variety of publications may be accessed.

Where can I find out about past ESA projects?

Go to the Publications homepage, where you can find articles about past projects. Also, you may access ESA's individual programme pages to find out more about older missions.

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

You can make a request to

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

You can find a full list of upcoming space-related events on our Calendar pages. Also, access the up-to-date homepage of the ESA List of Events.

 Can I visit ESA Headquarters?

ESA headquarters in Paris houses the Director General's office, the main programme directorates as well as general administration. No visits are possible.

Can I visit ESOC?

Please access this page for full information on visiting ESOC.

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

ESTEC welcomes a limited number of groups of students per year. Groups should have a relevant background and be 15-25 people. To request a visit, please send an email at least 3 months before the preferred date to the Communication Office in ESTEC (, stating the background, interests and size of the group, and some preferred dates. All other interested groups and individuals are invited to visit ESTEC’s visitors’ centre Space EXPO next door. During the weekends and holidays, you can take the "Space Train" several times per day to visit the facilities at ESTEC. For more information see (mostly in Dutch) or call +31 71 200 1400