Space Agency (ESA) is an inter-governmental agency entrusted with the
elaboration and implementation of a long term European space policy (for
peaceful purposes). ESA has fifteen Member States of which thirteen are also
Member states of the European Union. Greece and Luxembourg are not in ESA
whereas Norway and Switzerland are.
ESA has a long-standing
experience with the development and implementation of novel and complex
space systems such as meteorological or communication satellites. During
1994 the European Commission, the European Organisation for the Safety of
Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) and ESA engaged already jointly, under the
so-called tripartite agreement, into the preparation of the first generation
Global Navigation Satellite System, better known as EGNOS. Today EGNOS is
being developed by European and Canadian industry under ESA management.
The next step in GALILEO
will be the Development and In-Orbit Validation Phase, co-financed by the
European Commission and ESA. ESA will have the responsibility for the
development and validation of the GALILEO space and related ground segment.
In addition other ESA programmes supplement the European navigation
application and service developments.
Within the Agency the
responsibility for the GALILEO development programme lies with the Director
for Applications Programmes. The Navigation Department within this
Directorate includes the project divisions for EGNOS in Toulouse, France and
GALILEO in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.