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The European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) is the
European Space Agency , owner = , headquarters = Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area ...

European Space Agency
's main technology development and test centre for spacecraft and space technology. It is situated in
Noordwijk Noordwijk () is a town and municipality in the west of the Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of of which is water and had a population of in . On 1 January 2019, the former municipality of Noordwijk ...

Noordwijk
,
South Holland South Holland ( nl, Zuid-Holland ) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first- ...
, in the western
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
, although several kilometers off the village but immediately linked to the most Northern district of the nearby town
Katwijk Katwijk (), also spelled Katwyk, is a coastal municipality and town in the province of South Holland South Holland ( nl, Zuid-Holland ) is a Provinces of the Netherlands, province of the Netherlands with a population of over 3.7 million as ...

Katwijk
. At ESTEC, about 2500 engineers, technicians and scientists work hands-on with mission design, spacecraft and space technology. ESTEC provides extensive testing facilities to verify the proper operation of spacecraft, such as the Large Space Simulator (LSS), acoustic and electromagnetic testing bays, multi-axis vibration tables and the ESA Propulsion Laboratory (EPL). Prior to launch, almost all of the equipment that ESA launches is tested in some degree at ESTEC. The Space Expo is ESTEC's visitors centre. It has a permanent exhibition about
space exploration Space exploration is the use of astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and ce ...
.


Activities

* Future mission assessment * Current project support * Test Center * Operations


History

The European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) was founded in 1968. The centre was to be the core of the
European Space Research Organisation The European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) was an international organisation founded by 10 Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas ...
(ESRO). Its responsibilities included the engineering and testing of satellites and their payloads, the integration of scientific instruments in these payloads, and making arrangements for their launch. In some cases member states were to produce the scientific instruments for ESRO or produce them as part of their own national effort and compensate ESTEC for its service. In practice, national organisations simply used ESTEC as a service organisation and left it to pay for their efforts from the ESRO budget. After the Bannier Report the facility gained overall executive authority for spacecraft development and was merged with ESLAB. The satellite control centre was also moved to
ESOC The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) serves as the main mission control centre for the European Space Agency (ESA) and is located in Darmstadt, Germany. ESOC's primary function is the operation of unmanned spacecraft on behalf of ESA and ...
. ESTEC was originally to be located in
Delft Delft () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. ...

Delft
(South Holland) but because of unforeseen difficulties,
Noordwijk Noordwijk () is a town and municipality in the west of the Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of of which is water and had a population of in . On 1 January 2019, the former municipality of Noordwijk ...

Noordwijk
was chosen instead.


ESA Test Centre

In 1964 the ESRO decided to create an independent test centre that would be part of ESTEC. The first building with vibration and thermal vacuum facilities (named F-building) was completed in 1966 and the first satellite to be tested was the ESRO-1 satellite in 1968. From the 1970s to the late 1980s the test centre was enlarged by following facilities: The Dynamic Test Chamber (DTC) in 1975, The Multishaker in 1983, The EMC facility in 1985, The Large Space simulator (by extending the DTC) in 1986, The Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF) in 1989 and the Compact Payload Test Range (CPTR) in 1990. In the 1990s and 2000s the following major facilities have been added: The hydraulic shaker system (HYDRA), The Fr building with additional clean rooms (2000), The Large EMC facility (Maxwell) and the QUAD Shaker in 2008. In 1997 the test operations and facilities maintenance activities were subcontracted to the COMET consortium and in the year 2000 the test management, maintenance, operations and marketing of the test centre has been taken over by
European Test Services IABG (Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH) is a German analysis and test engineering company based in Ottobrunn near Munich. History The company was founded in 1961 on the initiative of the federal government as a central analysis and testi ...
B.V. (a subsidiary of
IABG IABG (Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH) is a German analysis and test engineering company based in Ottobrunn near Munich. History The company was founded in 1961 on the initiative of the federal government as a central analysis and testi ...
mbH and Intespace SA); The facilities are still belonging to ESA which is responsible for the facility development, test methodologies, test related engineering and subcontractor control. Since the year 2000 not only tests for space industry have been performed but the facilities are also used for aerospace-, railway-, transport-, marine- and power- testing for customers like ABB, ALSTOM, Airbus, Bombardier and many more.


Space Expo

The Space Expo is the permanent exhibition about
space exploration Space exploration is the use of astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and ce ...
at the ESTEC compound in Noordwijk. It was opened in 1990 by Queen
Beatrix of the Netherlands Beatrix (Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, ; born 31 January 1938) is a member of the Dutch royal house who reigned as Queen of the Netherlands from 1980 until her abdication in 2013. Beatrix is the eldest daughter of Queen Juliana and her husband, ...
and
Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau ( nl, Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg; 25 September 1968 – 12 August 2013) was the younger brother of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander (; Willem-Alex ...
. The exhibition has more than 100,000 visitors annually.


See also

*
Concurrent Design Facility The Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) is the European Space Agency , owner = , headquarters = Paris, Île-de-France, France , coordinates = , spaceport = Guiana Space Centre , seal = File:ESA emblem seal.png , seal_size ...
*
Advanced Concepts Team The Advanced Concepts Team is a group of scientists, researchers and young graduates that perform multidisciplinary research within the European Space Agency. Located at the European Space Research and Technology Centre, in the Netherlands, the ...
*
Mission Science Division The Earth and Mission Science Division is a group of European Space Agency , german: Europäische Weltraumorganisation , et, Euroopa Kosmoseagentuur , french: Agence spatiale européenne , fi, Euroopan avaruusjärjestö , el, Ευ ...
*
European Space Operations Centre The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) serves as the main mission control centre for the European Space Agency (ESA) and is located in Darmstadt, Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin ...

European Space Operations Centre
(ESOC) *
European Space Astronomy Centre The European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) near Madrid Madrid (, ) is the capital and most-populous city of Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escu ...
(ESAC) *
European Astronaut Centre The European Astronaut Centre (EAC) (German: Europäisches Astronautenzentrum, French: Centre des astronautes européens), is an establishment of the European Space Agency and home of the European Astronaut Corps. It is near to Cologne, Germany, a ...
(EAC) *
European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications The European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications or ECSAT is a research center A research institute, research centre, or research center is an establishment founded for doing research. Research institutes may specialize in basic re ...
(ECSAT) *
ESA Centre for Earth Observation The ESA Centre for Earth Observation (also known as the European Space Research Institute or ESRIN) is a research centre belonging to the European Space Agency , german: Europäische Weltraumorganisation , et, Euroopa Kosmoseagentuur ...
(ESRIN) *
Guiana Space Centre The Guiana Space Centre (french: links=no, Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG), also called Europe's Spaceport, is a French and European European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, ...
(CSG) * European Space Tracking Network (ESTRACK)


References


External links

*
Space Expo
ESTEC visitor center
European Test Services B.V.
{{authority control 1968 establishments in the Netherlands European Space Agency Noordwijk Organisations based in South Holland Research institutes established in 1968 Space technology research institutes