Contact at Estonian Research Council
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The European Space Agency (ESA) is an international organization with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investments in space continues to benefit the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA participates in all peaceful space activities: space science missions, Earth observation, satellite navigation, telecommunication, human spaceflight, space transportation, technology development, etc. ESA also works with other space agencies like NASA, JAXA and so on, for example the Mercury exploration mission BepiColombo was developed in cooperation with JAXA. ESA works closely with the European Union as well, developing the global positioning system Galileo and the space component of the Earth observation project Copernicus. ESA activities also include cooperation with businesses and industry.
ESA 22 Member States can participate in ESA’s science programmes, be represented in the ESA council and other committees. Businesses from these countries can participates in ESA procurement calls and citizens can apply for job positions at ESA.
Estonia became a Member State in 2015 and now actively participates in ESA activities. The main contact for ESA in Estonia is the Estonian Space Office. Research related to space is coordinated mainly by the Ministry of Education and Research with the Estonian Research Council, industry related activities by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications with Enterprise Estonia.
Estonia participates in ESA’s science programme and many voluntary ESA programmes such as Earth Observation, ARTES (Advanced Research for Telecommunication Systems), GSTP (General Support Technology Programme) and PRODEX. Examples of Estonia’s activities in ESA:
- The optical telescope OPIC developed in the University of Tartu was chosen for the Comet Interceptor mission
- Tartu observatory researchers are part of the ARIEL, ATHENA ja Comet Interceptor science consortiums
- Tallinn Univesity of Technology researchers are developing solar batteries from Moon soil and effective energy storage solutions in space industry
- Tartu houses a branch of ESA’s education project ESERO Estonia
- Tartu and Tallinn house ESA BIC Estonia
- The Land Board has a national satellite data centre ESTHub, which collects data from three ESA satellites
ESA employs about 2200 people – this includes scienctists, engineers, IT specialists and administrative personnel. ESA salaries are excempt from national income taxes. Employees get 12 holidays and 32.5 days paid leave annually; additional possibilities exist for visiting home and familiy related activities. ESA provides their employees a comprehensive social security scheme and many enrichment possibilities.
All job offers and applying: https://jobs.esa.int/
In addition to the job offers, there are also several thematic programmes. More details about the programmes can be found on ESA’s homepage here.
- For scientific research: the Research Fellowship and ESA Co-funded Research programmes
- For entry-level proffessionals: Young Graduate Trainees ja Junior Professional Programme
- For Master’s students: Student Internship