On October 31st 2019, European School of Economics Rome Campus’ students had the chance to visit the European Space Research Institute (ESRIN) which is located near Frascati, close to Rome. This particular ESA’s research centre is the European centre of excellence for exploitation of Earth observation missions. The mission and payload operations of ESA’s Earth observation satellites are managed here, and ESRIN is the primary source for the acquisition, distribution, and exploitation of data from these and other non-ESA satellites.

Our company visit started off with a presentation of the research centre and some of its main missions, followed by a presentation of the small Vega launch vehicle, which took its maiden voyage in February 2012, whose development team operating for the European Space Agency is currently hosted by ESRIN. Considering that our students are studying business, ESA-ESRIN’s staff concentrated their presentations on demonstrating how Earth observation is of uttermost importance for world economy, among other things. We were shown how the launch of the Space Rider can be crucial for allowing research for private companies (such as pharmaceutical companies) to become much less expensive and available for a greater number of companies and not just the lucky few.

We were then escorted to the Mission Control Room and given a short presentation about the process of Earth observation through satellites and how this can have a positive effect on the entire world. ESA-ESRIN strives to make its data available for everyone for free and it is founder of a project called International Charter on Space & Major Disasters. The Charter is a joint effort between member space agencies to place their satellite resources at the disposal of rescue authorities in the event of disasters of both human or natural origin.

Finally, we were able to see one of the most magical and interesting multimedia exhibitions of how Earth Observation works and all the fields in which its data is crucial and invaluable. Our guide, Fulvio, was incredibly engaging and he managed to demonstrate the importance of observing icebergs, gas emissions, water temperature and many other aspects through the lens of world economy and business. The room itself was extremely high-tech and provided a view of the Earth like we had never seen before.

The European School of Economics would like to thank the European Research Institute for this magical, eye-opening tour of the centre itself, but most importantly, on showing our students all the business, internships and career opportunities within such a centre and on inspiring them to learn more about the fascinating field of Space observation and research.