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. Exploring the Universe, and sending satellites and humans into space are among the major challenges for developed nations in the 21st century. This is why 19 European countries have been pooling resources for over 40 years, putting Europe at the forefront of space science, technology and applications.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 is one of the leading organization in the Helix Nebula partnership.