ESA A Spot

European Space Agency (ESA)


ESA is a key partner in the development of satellites required by EUMETSAT's mandatory programmes and in the European Copernicus Programme.

ESA A Spot
ESA A Spot

ESA's mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

Last Updated

23 August 2022

Published on

09 April 2020

Having 22 Member States, ESA coordinates the financial and intellectual resources of its members and can thus undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

How we work together

ESA and EUMETSAT have a long-standing cooperation. The Meteosat programme was initiated in the 1970s as an ESA programme. When Meteosat satellites had demonstrated their operational capacities, EUMETSAT was created to take over and develop operational satellite meteorological programmes in Europe.

Since then, EUMETSAT and ESA have worked closely in the development of the current EUMETSAT Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) and EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) programmes, and are cooperating on future EUMETSAT programmes such as Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) and the EUMETSAT Polar System-Second Generation (EPS-SG). The observations derived from the MTG and EPS-SG programmes will complement future satellite missions, expected within the 2025-2040 timeframe.

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Under their terms of agreement, ESA is responsible for the development of the space segment of EUMETSAT programmes, and EUMETSAT is responsible for the overall system (e.g. launch services, the ground segment and the operations for the duration of the mission).

As a general rule, ESA funds a major part of the development costs of the first satellite of a series; EUMETSAT financially contributes through a fixed share (30 percent) to its development costs and fully funds the costs of the recurrent satellites, the launch services and operations of all the satellites, including their ground segment.

ESA and EUMETSAT also collaborate in the European Copernicus Programme. EUMETSAT is the operational agency for the ESA Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite (marine mission) and the Sentinel-6 mission, together with US partners (NASA and NOAA). EUMETSAT will soon be the operational agency for Sentinel-4 and -5 (atmosphere monitoring missions), as part of the MTG and EPS-SG programmes. EUMETSAT also delivers all data from these missions through its integrated ground segment infrastructure.

Furthermore, ESA and EUMETSAT are the European partners of the CEOS Secretariat.

For more information, please visit the ESA website.

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