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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

For all your questions related to careers at ESA, please see our dedicated FAQ page.

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?


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?

Using the ESA logo and branding

Where can I find ESA logo and branding?

Can I use ESA logo?

What are ESA brand values?

What is the colour of the ESA logo?

Where can I find the ESA astronaut "flags" patch?

Where can I find ESA mission patches?


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?


Where can I find and download ESA publications?

Where can I find out about past ESA projects?


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)?