ESAC (European Space Astronomy Centre)
I think when people say space agency, their mind will first go to NASA, the USA space agency, actually there are a lot more space agencies out there!
To mention a few:
- ESA (European Space Agency)
- UKSA (United Kingdom Space Agency)
- Roscosmos (or RFSA, Russian Federal Space Agency)
- CNSA (China National Space Administration)
- JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
- KARI (Korea Aerospace Research Institute)
- ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation)
- even Indonesia has LAPAN (Lembaga Penerbangan dan Antariksa Nasional,/ National Institute of Aeronautics and Space)
Last week, I got the opportunity to visit ESAC for training. Apparently, you need to bring a passport or national ID card for your first visit for security purpose.
They have a few models of space cameras/ orbiter/ satellites. ESA ones, of course.
Talking about satellites, I like the way ESA redesign their mission logos. They are so nicely designed. (And make me envious not having a polo shirt with any mission logo)
When you are there, you can see satellite dishes in the background. They are parts of Villafranca Ground Station, where the data from space transmitted.
As it’s a working lab, it’s not a place you can visit exactly, but I guess you can try contacting them! It’s pretty secluded place-wise, but you can get a bus (and walking for 23 minutes after. Bus 627 to CTRA.M503-URB.VILLAFRANCA del Castillo, 28692, Madrid, Spain). If you have a car, you can follow the instruction on their website.
Are you interested working in ESA? Other than in Madrid, they have facilities in other places and headquartered in Paris. They always have their vacancies and graduate trainees programme written on their website. Unfortunately, ESA member states nationals only though.