How are NASA and the European Space Agency working together? Learn all about this partnership and more in this April, 19, 2018 installment of our Thought Leader Series featuring ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Woerner.
Woerner discusses NASA and international cooperation, as well as ESA’s current activities and future plans and its education and public engagement initiatives. Twenty-five different countries are members or associates of ESA, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Finland.
Woerner was appointed the ESA Director General July 1, 2015. He previously served as Chairman of the Executive Board for the German Aerospace Center (DLR), head of the German delegation to ESA from 2007 to 2015 and chairman of the ESA Council from 2012 to 2014.
ESA has a number of current missions featuring collaborations with Japanese, French, and Chinese space agencies. As a partner in the International Space Station, ESA currently has 22 active astronauts, including Expedition 52/53 crewmember Paolo Nespoli.
A good example of the public engagement around its missions is when ESA sent a robotic probe and lander to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as part of the Rosetta mission. Launched in 2004, the spacecraft reached the comet in 2014 and Rosetta’s lander, Philae, became the first spacecraft to successfully land on a comet. ESA launched a global publicity campaign around the spacecraft and lander that included cartoons, a Twitter account and more.