The European Space Astronomy Centre hosts the scientific operations centres for ESA's astronomy and planetary missions, along with their scientific archives. Based at Villanueva de la Cañada, near Madrid in Spain, ESAC provides services to astronomical research projects worldwide.
Telespazio VEGA has 30 staff working at ESAC. We support major astrophysics missions such as Herschel, Planck, Gaia and XMM by developing software, calibrating the instrumentation and interpreting the scientific data. Our staff also work on a number of planetary probes including Venus Express, Mars Express, and Rosetta. For these, we monitor the status and health of the probes, plan the in-orbit observing schedules and programme comet interactions. We take a leading role in making all the data available for the scientific community via online archives, and by a sophisticated infrastructure known as the Virtual Observatory.
ESAC is the hub of Europe's space research, and VEGA staff have the luxury of getting sight of new data taken by some of the world’s most advanced Space telescopes and probes. The site in Madrid is fairly small and retains an intimate, friendly, atmosphere which makes for a pleasant and stimulating working environment.
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