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Estonia accedes to ESA Convention


Estonia took a step further in its relations with ESA by signing the Accession Agreement to the ESA Convention on 4 February 2015, to become the 21st ESA Member State.

The signing ceremony took place at the ESA Headquarters in Paris with the participation of Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, Anne Sulling, Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications responsible for Foreign Trade and Entrepreneurship, Ene Ergma, Member of Parliament and Head of Estonian Space Committee, and Sven Jürgenson, Estonian Ambassador in France.

Other government officials and personalities attended the ceremony, including representatives from the Estonian Space Office of Enterprise Estonia and the Tartu Observatory.

Estonia’s cooperation with ESA started with the signature of a Cooperation Agreement on 20 June 2007 in Tallinn. Estonia strengthened its cooperation with ESA through the European Cooperating State Agreement signed on 10 November 2009.

Estonia has a long tradition in astrophysics research and has contributed to several ESA scientific and technology projects. The country’s active participation in the Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS) covers the fields of space science, Earth observation, life and material sciences and space technology.

Estonia’s first satellite, ESTCube-1, a technology demonstrator designed by the University of Tartu as part of the Estonian Student Satellite Programme, was launched by Vega (flight VV02) on 7 May 2013.

Later this year, the Government of Estonia will conclude the ratification process and once the ratification instrument is deposited with the Government of France, Estonia will become officially the 21st ESA Member State.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU. Two other Member States of the EU, Hungary and Estonia, are likely soon to become new ESA Member States.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with six other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more about ESA at


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