About robots, robot development
and those who make it happen
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  • The European Space Agency (ESA) operates many research sites in Europe and abroad. The largest of these sites is the European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

    ESTEC employs over 2,500 engineers, scientists, and technicians who research and test spacecraft and space technology. Notable research facilities at ESTEC include the Large Space Simulator (LSS), acoustic and electromagnetic testing bays, multi-axis vibration tables, and the ESA Propulsion Laboratory (EPL).

    Almost all equipment that ESA launches is tested to some extent at ESTEC. While ESTEC is used extensively for ESA projects, it is also available to serve the needs of outside organizations.



    • Developing and managing all types of ESA missions: science, exploration, telecommunications, human spaceflight, satellite navigation and Earth observation.
    • Providing all the managerial and technical competences and facilities needed to initiate and manage the development of space systems and technologies.
    • Operating an environmental test center for spacecraft, with supporting engineering laboratories specialized in systems engineering, components and materials, and working within a network of other facilities and laboratories.
    • Supporting European space industry and working closely with other organizations, such as universities, research institutes and national agencies from ESA Member States, and cooperating with space agencies all over the world.



    ESTEC was founded in 1968 by the European Space Research Organization (ESRO) as the organization’s premier research facility to test satellites and their payloads.  ESRO would later merge with the European Launcher Development Organization (ELDO) in 1975 to create ESA.

    The past four decades have seen many expansions in ESTEC’s facilities, including the hydraulic shaker system (HYDRA) and more clean rooms in 2000 and the QUAD shaker in 2008. The space industry is still the focus of ESTEC, but organizations that belong to other industries such as railway, transportation, and marine companies use the facilities. 

  • Visit official website


  • Research:Space Exploration
  • Space:Orbital Robots
    Planetary Rover Robots
    Satellite Servicing
    Vehicle Assembly


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