European Space Agency
About us

We are the European Space Agency. Our mission is the peaceful exploration and use of space for the benefit of everyone. We watch over Earth, develop and launch inspiring and unique space projects, train astronauts and push the boundaries of science and technology, seeking answers to the big questions about the Universe. We are a family of scientists, engineers and business professionals from all over Europe working together in a diverse and multinational environment. We are dedicated to united space in Europe and united Europe in space.

Our internships

There are six different programmes open to students and recent graduates who are nationals of one of the ESA Member States or Cooperating States:

  • Internships are available while you are still studying.
  • The Young Graduate Trainee Programme is for students who are about to graduate from a Master’s level course, or for those who have recently graduated.
  • National Trainee Programmes are similar to the Young Graduate Trainee programme and are run by several national governments, also targeting those who are either about to graduate, or have recently graduated, with a Master’s degree.
  • The Junior Professional Programme is open to graduates of a Master’s level degree programme with two to three years of professional experience.
  • Researchers can apply for ESA to co-fund space-related PhD and post-doc research activities.
  • Post docs can apply to the Research Fellowship Programme.

In addition, if you are still at university and interested in learning more about space, check out the ESA Academy. There are many interesting training courses on offer as well as the possibility to work on a hands-on space project.

Key facts

ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

In short, ESA’s job is to draw up the European space programme and carry it through. ESA’s programmes are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries. ESA also works closely with space organisations outside Europe and certain ESA programmes, such as Galileo and Copernicus, are funded by the EU.

There are around 2500 staff working for ESA, from all its Member States and include scientists, engineers, information technology specialists and administrative personnel.

Case studies

Alena Truntzer

Alena is a YGT in the JUICE (Jupiter and Icy Moons Explorer) Flight Control Team (FCT). She is from France and studied at ISAE-ENSMA (École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et d’Aérotechnique), near Poitiers. Read her interview here.

Hasse Hansen

Hasse is Danish and graduated with a Master’s in Astronomy from Aarhus University, Denmark and worked with telescopes and a CubeSat during his time at university. He is now a Systems Engineer YGT at the Fly Your Satellite! Programme, where he supports university students with their CubeSat missions. Read his interview here.

Chloé Sivac

Chloé is a YGT from France. She joined the Gaia Flight Control Team in September 2020 and is completing the second year of her YGT assignment at ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany. Read her interview here.

Kylian van Oosterhout

Kylian is half Dutch and half British. Before joining ESA as a YGT, he did an internship at ESA SBIC start-up Space4Good and another at SES Satellites in Luxembourg. Read his interview here.

Maureen Allanic

Maureen is French and has a Master’s degree in Management of Information Technology. Today she works at the Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration as a YGT in Business Process Review and Knowledge Management. Read her interview here.

Mirela Fetescu

Mirela started as a YGT at ESTEC in September 2020. She is a telecommunication engineer fascinated by information travelling in space. Read her interview here.