Estonia Accedes to ESA Convention

Tiia Lillemaa | 4.02.2015

Estonia took a step further in its relations with European Space Agency (ESA) by signing the Accession Agreement to the ESA Convention on 4 February 2015, to become the 21stESA Member State. Estonia become a full memebr of ESA after ratification of the Agreement.

The ESA membership opens up new opportunities for cooperation with the large European aerospace industry companies as a partner in the fulfilment of the orders from ESA. In addition to the obligatory programmes, there is possible to participate in programs by choice.

Participation in the ESA Scientific Programmes is obligatory to the member states, specified the Director of the Estonian space research centre, Tartu Observatory, Mrs Anu Reinart. Our researchers have participated in the ESA GAIA, EUCLID and PLANCK missions, and Earth Observation programmes within the ESA PECS Programme, as well as in the development of satellite technology through preparation of the mission and launch of the student satellite ESTCube-1, that was supervised by the researchers of Tartu Observatory. Membership in ESA increase the fields of activities or our researchers.

The signing ceremony took place at the ESA Headquarters in Paris with the participation of Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, Anne Sulling, Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications responsible for Foreign Trade and Entrepreneurship, Ms Ene Ergma, Member of Parliament and Head of Estonian Space Committee and Mr Sven Jürgenson, Estonian Ambassador in France. Other government officials and personalities attended the ceremony, including representatives from the Estonian Space Office by 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 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.

Tartu Observatory is a public research and development authority, administered by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. The mission of Tartu Observatory as a space research centre is to realize an excellence in the space science in the interests of the development of Estonia.

The main area of activity of Tartu Observatory is the research and development in the fields of astronomy, remote sensing, and space technology. Here meet the high competence of internationally recognized senior researchers with splendid enthusiasm of young scientists to find solutions for new challenging research question

Anu Reinart,,

Additional information:
Tartu Observatory
+372 51938989

Tiia Lillemaa

Eesti liitumislepingu allkirjastamine ESA-ga 04.02.2015

Photo: ESA

Photo: ESA