The European Southern Observatory, ESO, is the leading European organisation for astronomical research. Large observatories are being operated in the Andean mountains in Northern Chile. The scientific and technological headquarter is located at Garching, near Münich in Germany. ESO currently includes 15 European countries as well as Brazil (ratification pending) and host state Chile.
The European Space Agency, ESA, operates European space research programmes and is the European counterpart to Americas NASA. The main launching site is located in French Guyana (South America) and the headquarter is in Paris. ESA runs several scientific and technological centres, e.g. in Darmstadt (Germany) and in Nordwijk (Holland).
NASA is the American organisation for space research. There are a number of launching sites in the USA. NASA has a world leading role, both for manned spaceflight as well as for the exploration of the solar system. However, in 2011 the space shuttle programme was discontinued and NASA lately have had budgetary limitations leading to some cuts in its activity.
- SETI Institute
Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute is a world leading institute for SETI research. A number of projects within SETI and astrobiology are being supported. The scientic staff contains many names well-known in SETI research.
- SETI League
The SETI League was founded in 1994 as a response to the NASA cancellation of funding SETI research. The organisation has more than a thousand members in many countries and runs Project Argus, a project where amateur radio astronomers all over the world are collaborating to search for SETI signals.