Freelancer / self-employed


The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its 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.

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.

What does ESA do?

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.

Who belongs to ESA?

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Canada takes part in some projects under a Cooperation agreement.

Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia have cooperation agreements with ESA.

Paris, France - MERIS, 14 July 2003
Where is ESA located?

ESA's headquarters are in Paris which is where policies and programmes are decided. ESA also has sites in a number of European countries, each of which has different responsibilities:

EAC, the European Astronauts Centre in Cologne, Germany;
ESAC, the European Space Astronomy Centre, in Villanueva de la Canada, Madrid, Spain;
ESOC, the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany;
ESRIN, the ESA centre for Earth Observation, in Frascati, near Rome, Italy;
ESTEC, the European Space Research and Technology Centre, Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
ECSAT, the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications, Harwell, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom.
ESA Redu Centre, Belgium.
ESA also has liaison offices in Belgium, USA and Russia; a launch base in French Guiana and ground/tracking stations in various parts of the world.

How many people work for ESA?

There are around 2200 staff working for ESA, from all the Member States and include scientists, engineers, information technology specialists and administrative personnel.

Where do ESA’s funds come from?

ESA’s mandatory activities (space science programmes and the general budget) are funded by a financial contribution from all the Agency’s Member States, calculated in accordance with each country’s gross national product. In addition, ESA conducts a number of optional programmes. Each Member State decides in which optional programme they wish to participate and the amount they wish to contribute.

How big is ESA’s budget?

ESA's budget for 2012 is €4020 million. ESA operates on the basis of geographical return, i.e. it invests in each Member State, through industrial contracts for space programmes, an amount more or less equivalent to each country’s contribution.

How much does each European spend on ESA?

European per capita investment in space is very little. On average, every citizen of an ESA Member State pays, in taxes for expenditure on space, about the same as the price of a cinema ticket (in USA, investment in civilian space activities is almost four times as much).

How does ESA operate?

The Council is ESA's governing body and provides the basic policy guidelines within which ESA develops the European space programme. Each Member State is represented on the Council and has one vote, regardless of its size or financial contribution.

ESA is headed by a Director General who is elected by the Council every four years. Each individual research sector has its own Directorate and reports directly to the Director General. The present Director General of ESA is Jan Woerner.

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In the field of space operations & engineering activities Vitrociset can claim almost 30 years of experience and uninterrupted collaboration with Space Agencies and Satellite Operators.
Vitrociset’s specific areas of activity span from Satellite Technology to Telecommunications, from Information Technology to Users’ Application Development & Services. Vitrociset endeavor for high-level performance systems which encompass design, hardware & software development, integration and operation.
Vitrociset Belgium operates all along the projects lifespan, realizing and managing systems and services through solutions value-for-money and able to provide quality and security centred on the highest standards of innovation.
Vitrociset Belgium has also infrastructures in Germany, The Netherlands and Spain, providing local operations support to the European Space Agency and others organizations.
Quality, security and innovation have always been the main guidelines for all Vitrociset’s activities.
Vitrociset Belgium is certified ISO 9001:2008.

Looking for: 

Skills, expertise, long-standing experience, high standards of quality and professionalism are only some of Vitrociset main distinguishing marks.
Our presence in
– ESOC - Darmstadt (Germany)
- ESTEC - Noordwijk (Netherlands)
- ESAC - Villafranca (Spain)
- CNES – Toulouse (France)
and our strong connection with the Mother Company in:
- ESRIN - Frascati (Italy)
- Vitrociset Headquarters - Rome - (Italy)
- European Space Port - Kourou - (French Guyana)
signify the high possibilities of internal mobility.

Personnel is Vitrociset’s greatest asset therefore we keep motivating our employees by providing them required training and presenting development opportunities but first of all by listening to them.

Joining us means working in a multicultural, dynamic and challenging environment together with passionated people. We are looking for enthusiastic people with a technical background willing to discover the space domain. For the list of vacancies click below.

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VisionSpace is a well-established consulting and engineering services business. Since our foundation in 2010 we are committed to the wishes and needs of our clients. We work together with our clients to fulfill their requirements and attain maximum user-satisfaction. Starting with a detailed understanding of these needs, we can combine the in-depth knowledge of our consultants with the experience of the client to deliver high-performance solutions that meet the user's needs. Our commitment is to bring the best solution to our clients through a quality service provided to meet their expectations and needs.

Looking for: 

People are the foundation of VisionSpace's success. As an employee-owned company, we care about not only the technologies we develop but also the path we take to create them. VisionSpace operates under a highly collaborative organizational model that recognizes and encourages leadership throughout the company and takes care of the individual.

VisionSpace technical staff members play a pivotal role in developing advanced software technology. Engineers work in small team settings and must successfully interact with clients, partners, and other employees in a highly cooperative and intellectually challenging environment. We’re looking for people who can invent, learn, think, and inspire. We reward creativity and thrive on collaboration.

It is a fundamental policy of VisionSpace Technologies not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or disability, with respect to recruitment, hiring, training, promotion and other terms and conditions of employment

It is our policy to base decisions on employment solely upon an individual's qualifications relating to the requirements of the position for which the individual is being considered and to recruit, hire, and promote the best qualified persons for all jobs without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, age, handicap or disability. Ensure that all personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, Company-sponsored training, promotions, terminations and disciplinary actions are applied equally.

Join us, we offer you an extraordinary chance to learn, to develop and to be part of an exciting experience and team.

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Telespazio VEGA Deutschland is a well-established consulting, technology and engineering services business. Over the past 30 years, we have built up a first-class reputation in high-technology markets, where quality and reliability are essential. Our roots are in the Space market and the experience we have developed there now brings benefits to our other core markets of Aviation and Defence.

Our nearly 400 staff are experts in a full range of systems & operations engineering and ICT disciplines and develop ground-based, software-intensive systems for control, planning and data processing as well as for simulations and training. After development of such complex systems we are able to provide operations services at highest quality standards, up to fully outsourced services for our clients.

Our knowledge and experience enable us to provide support through the entire programme lifecycle, ensuring that all quality standards, customer-specific standards and country specific regulations are met.

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A customer-facing interim systems engineer with experience in Earth Observation ground segments.
To lead technical activities on PDGS-related projects, advising clients on procurement of EO ground segment.
Responsibilities / Duties

  • EO systems Requirements Analysis & Authoring
  • Technical customer interface
  • Technical document review and technical architecture
  • Tender evaluation
  • Travel to Arabian peninsula will be required

SCISYS SPACE is a leading provider of integrated solutions and products for ground & on-board systems. Within the ground segment SCISYS is a reliable and experienced partner for monitoring & control, data processing, automation, autonomous & intelligent systems, system modelling & simulation, infrastructures, data services and applications.

In the area of on-board systems our activities range from complete on-board software systems to subsystems for the data processing, attitude and orbit control as well as instrument control units. We are also specialised in the provision of on-site engineering and operations support and professional consulting services for the management and procurement of space and space-related projects.

For us, a long-standing partnership based on trustworthy collaboration with our customers holds the key to sustained success in the exciting and sophisticated space market.Our customers are satellite operators, system integrators and major research laboratories, as well as organisations and companies that are part of the international space industry.


The SCISYS SPACE Division operates in the UK through SCISYS UK Ltd. and in Germany through SCISYS Deutschland GmbH.


Looking for: 

Working for SCISYS is both challenging and rewarding. Our staff are enthusiastic, self-starters who thrive in a dynamic environment.

Whether your speciality is project management, business analysis, system design and software engineering, programming, applications support or spacecraft operations and flight dynamics, there may be opportunities for you at SCISYS. Potential is quickly recognised and rewarded appropriately, and the experience you will gain through working in diverse market sectors and on a variety of projects is second to none.


The SPACE Division provides integrated system solutions for Space Science and Exploration, Navigation, Telecommunications, Security and Earth Observation. Together with our parent company SCISYS plc, we offer interesting job opportunities in the following application fields:

  • Software design and development
  • Project Management,
  • Modelling and Simulation,
  • Mission Control,
  • Flight Dynamics
  • Autonomous Systems and Automation
  • Embedded Software.

The SPACE division also offers industrial placement and work experience to students from engineering, physics and computer science backgrounds. If you are interested in working in the space industry, SCISYS is an excellent place to gain valuable technical experience.


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Serco Europe is a leading provider of professional, technology and management services

Our customer-first approach, robust portfolio of services, and global experience enable us to respond with innovative solutions that achieve outcomes that matter. Serco Europe is part of an international service company with employees around the world.

We help our clients operate, maintain, and optimise critical IT networks, as well as provide computer network defence and information security. Serco manages and optimises operations and technologies, protects group rights issues, and leverages advanced Web-based architectures to migrate legacy applications and data to the Internet.

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In this role you will be responsible for the following tasks within the MOC (Mission Operation Center) Sub-System:

  • NCR Management for the sub-elements (Problem Report/NCR handling / NRBs);
  • Support the RFD/RFW process with Configuration Management Team;
  • Organize and hold/support reviews (e.g. TRRs, TRBs, QR AR);
  • Review the PA documentation of the supplier reviews (e.g. TRRs, TRBs, QR AR);
  • Support all activities concerning the EDRS GSeg level test campaigns;
  • Provide a weekly PA report about the covered work package;
  • Participate to the relevant project meetings.

Software Engineer

Our customer is an independent Danish company recognized in satellite test systems, software, independent software verification and validation activities, on-site engineering support and power electronics. Their software systems have been utilized for on-board, check-out, ground station, simulation and in many other critical space related domains. As part of the, you will have the following responsibility:

  • You will be working with state-of-the art systems and implement algorithms that will be used in navigation systems of tomorrow

Due to its many years’ experience of working in the international arena and especially in Europe, Grafton has accumulated an extraordinary expertise in the area of cross border administration, legal and tax issues which means we are in a unique position to accept the whole administrative burden for our clients regarding the logistical, legal and tax status regarding our Consultancy. 

As an ISO 9001 certified and AUG registered company we can support extensive range of specific requirements including work package administration, temporary employment and other cross border working arrangements.

Grafton’s in-house multilingual team provides a comprehensive and specific “local knowledge” understanding to underline our complete services.
Looking for: 

As a result off Grafton's extensive expertise in international Consultancy we offer unique assistance to our Engineers in their relocation, local registration accommodation, tax and insurance affairs.

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