European Space Sector

 

The most iconic part of the European space sector is the European Space Agency (ESA) – world’s second largest space agency, best known for its landing on comet 67P (aka Churyumov–Gerasimenko) with the Philae lander. Ariane rocket is another iconic part, however there are hundreds of other companies, from huge international giants to small, disruptive startups born in Europe, creating a vast, independent ecosystem harvesting the benefits of space exploration. In this section we will take a closer look into what Europe does in space, who are the players worth looking at and how to build your career in the European space sector.

Giants

Largest companies, multi-national, offering a wide range of products and services, often with a roots in defense industry

  • Airbus Defence and Space
  • Safran
  • Thales Alenia Space
  • AVIO
  • OHB
  • QinetiQ
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Specialists

From large to small, companies focused on a specific parts of the space industry

  • SES
  • Eutelsat
  • Arianespace
  • Reaction Engines Ltd.
  • RUAG Space
  • Jena-Optronik

Space 4.0

New companies, either startups or formerly starups, striving for further commercialization of space

  • PLD Space
  • Active Space Technologies
  • Space Structures GmbH
  • ARQUIMEA
  • Cevotec
  • Creotech Instruments

Organizations

New companies, either startups or formerly starups, striving for further commercialization of space

European Space Agency HQ

Headquarters of the European Space Agency

ESTEC

ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre

ESOC

ESA’s European Space Operations Centre

ESRIN

ESA Centre for Earth Observation

EAC

ESA’s European Astronaut Centre

ESAC

ESA’s European Space Astronomy Centre

Redu Centre

Part of ESA’s network of the ground stations used to control and test satellites on orbit. Also a location of the Space Weather Data Centre storing space weather data archive and an infrastructure for related services.

ECSAT

ESA’s European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications

Lampoldshausen Centre

Airbus-Safran Launchers design, development and manufacturing center of the propulsion systems. Features open air and vacuum rocket test rigs.

Ottobrunn Site

Airbus Defence & Space Ottobrunn site is manufacturing various components for satellites, space probes, scientific instruments and propulsion components.

Guiana Space Centre

Le Centre Spatial Guyanais, Europe’s space port in French Guiana co-owned by CNES and ESA with Arianespace facilities and a military base of Forces armées en Guyane, securing the spaceport.

Esrange Space Center

Space and research center focused on sounding rockets and high altitude balloons.

Andøya Space Center

Sounding rocket and balloon launch site, ground station, observatory, and a test site used for defense applications.

DLR

German national aeronautics and space research centre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., space agency of Germany

CNES

French National Center for Space Studies, Centre national d’études spatiales, the space agency of France

Toulouse Space Center

CNES’s space research and development center.

PLD Space HQ

Headquarters of the Spanish rocket startup PLD Space

PLD Space's Propulsion Test Facilities

Liquid rocket engine test stand owned by PLD Space

SSTL

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, part of the Airbus Defence & Space, one of the world’s leading satellite manufacturers

Zero 2 infinity

Company working on launching rockets from balloons (rockoons) and a high altitude passenger balloon flights

SSC

Swedish Space Corporation, Svenska rymdaktiebolaget, develops various space-related technologies, and operates Esrange Space Center

OHB

Headquarters of OHB, company developing a wide range of space-related technologies, from antennas through satellites to facilities for ISS Columbus module.

QinetiQ Space

Space branch of QinetiQ providing end-to-end solutions for the space sector.

Creotech Instruments

Space 4.0 company focused on manufacturing spacecraft components

Kongsberg Defence Systems

Services provider and a manufacturer in the defense and aerospace industries. Their space-related activities include manufacturing of various components for Ariane and numerous ESA spacecrafts.

iSat

Manufacturer of the systems and components for ground segment

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