European Space Research Organisation1964 (Paris [France]) - 1975 (Paris [France])
Conseil européen de recherche spatiale
According to the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) Convention, the purpose of the organisation was to provide and promote collaboration among European States in Space research and technology, exclusively for peaceful purposes. The Member states were: Belgium, Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom; Austria and Norway and later Ireland, were granted observer status. Other centres were established under the ESRO umbrella: the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) for space and application engineering, the European Space Data Centre (ESDAC) at Darmstadt, a European Space Research Institute (ESRIN) at Frascati near Rome and a European Space Tracking Network (ESTRACK) comprising stations in Fairbanks, Alaska, Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, Ny Alesund in Spitzbergen Islands and Redu, Belgium. ESRO's first four years were devoted to working on the extensive sounding rocket programme, and three satellites. But ESRO, unable to reach a unanimous agreement on determining the level of resources for the ensuing three-year period, was facing a crisis. The group of experts chaired by Jan Hendrik Bannier (Netherlands) drew up a proposal for revising the organisation's structure, procedures and working methods, consequently various reforms were gradually introduced. The revised ESRO convention introduced an obligatory science programme which continued on a reduced basis. ESRIN space laboratory was transformed into a documentation centre. The programmes for satellite applications (AEROSAT, METEOSAT and OTS) were introduced and it was decided to arrange all space programmes between the states.