Ask the community: How do you get into an ESA Laboratory?

ESA, and ESTEC in particular, have multiple specialized and high-quality testing facilities and laboratories. These can be of invaluable worth to researchers and companies from our community. But how do you gain access? How do you find someone who can support you in using these facilities? This is a commonly asked question that we answer in this edition of “Ask the Community.” 

The simplest answer to the question, “How do I access ESA’s facilities?” is: “Engage in a project with ESA.” Unlike Dutch applied research institutes such as TNO or NLR, ESA is not specifically set up to provide development or testing services to third parties. However, it’s different for their own projects. When development and testing fall within the scope of an ESA project, the necessary facilities are included in the project planning. 

What if you want to use the facilities for your own project, where ESA isn’t necessarily involved? There are several options. If you’ve previously done a project with ESA, you’ll undoubtedly have the contact details of someone you can approach to discuss access to the facilities. But ESA also recognizes the value of external organizations using the facilities and wants to simplify access. For this purpose, the following website was created: Here, you’ll find an overview of available labs with detailed information and contacts. There is also a brochure with more information. 

Despite all the information available online, it can sometimes still be challenging to find the right contact person in time or to get the necessary information or access. In such cases, reach out to someone from SBIC Noordwijk or NL Space Campus. They can help you quickly find the right person or mediate your request. For SMEs, there will be an opportunity this fall to receive a contribution towards the cost of the facilities through a campus voucher. Inquire about this at NL Space Campus. 

Image credit: ESA

Join the community

Sign up for our monthly Community Updates to stay updated on everything that happens at and around NL Space Campus. Upcoming events, the latest news in space and more: don't miss out!