The European Space Agency (herein the “Agency” or “ESA”) is an intergovernmental organisation established by its Convention opened for signature in Paris on 30 May 1975 having its headquarters located at 24 rue du Général Bertrand, CS 30798, 75345 Paris Cedex 07, France.

Protection of Personal Data is of great importance for ESA, therefore this Cookie Notice aims to ensure lawfulness and transparency by explaining the cookies and similar technologies that we use in the ESA / ESOC – Directorate of Operations website, what they do, what your choices regarding their use are and how you can contact us.

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small text file that a website may save on your device, for instance mobile device or computer, upon your visit to the website. Cookies may allow a website to recognise an individual’s device and store some information about the user.

What are the different types of cookies? 

A cookie can be classified by its lifespan and the domain to which it belongs. By lifespan, a cookie is either a:

  • session cookie which is erased when the user closes the browser or; 
  • persistent cookie which remains on the user's computer/device for a pre-defined period of time;

As for the domain to which it belongs, there are either:

  • first-party cookies which are set by the web server of the visited page and share the same domain;
  • third-party cookies stored by a different domain to the visited page's domain. This can happen when the webpage references a file, such as JavaScript, located outside its domain.

Which cookies do we use? 

Strictly Necessary or Essential Cookies: These cookies are strictly necessary for the website to provide the services that you requested and/or for the solely purpose of the transmission of the services and/or the website. Without these cookies you would not be able to access the services or the website and therefore this category cannot be disabled.

Source First Party or Third Party cookie? Cookie Name Session or Persistent cookie? Type of personal data collected Purpose Expires First Party has_js Session None Used by the portal to see if the user’s browser has javascript enabled or not.   On browser session First Party cookie_agreed Persistent None Used to remember that the user has accepted the cookie warning so he/she does not have to accept it every time when visiting the site 100 days First Party cookie_agreed-version Persistent None Used to remember the cookie notice version that the user has agreed. So users have to accept/decline  again cookie warning if cookie notice has changed. 100 days First party SimpleSAMLSessionID Session None To identify the user session for SAML login On browser session First party simplesamlphp_auth_returnto   Persistent None To store the URL of the web portal after SAML login 1 hour First party SimpleSAMLAuthToken   Session None   To identify the user session logged in SAML during the authentication process On browser session First party SESS(hex_code) Persistent None To identify the user who has previously logged into the portal 23.15 days or on user logout. First  party Drupal.toolbar.collapsed Persistent None Used by Drupal to configure navigation panel size Never First party Drupal.tableDrag.showWeight Persistent None Used by Drupal to configure table size 1 year


Analytics Cookies: These cookies help us to improve and measure the performance of our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. We only place this cookies if you have provided your prior consent. In this website we use Matomo. 

Source First Party or Third Party cookie? Cookie Name Session or Persistent cookie? Type of personal data collected Purpose Expires First party (Matomo) _pk_id Persistent Contains a visitor id used to identify unique visitors Used to store a few details about the user such as the unique visitor ID 13 months First party (Matomo) _pk_ref Persistent To identify from where they came Used to store the attribution information, the referrer initially used to visit the website 6 months First party (Matomo) _pk_ses, _pk_cvar, _pk_hsr Persistent None Short lived cookies used to temporarily store data for the visit 30 minutes First party (Matomo) _pk_testcookie Session None Used to check whether the visitor’s browser supports cookies Is created and should be then directly deleted


How do you withdraw your consent and delete the cookies? 

Using Your Browser: All the cookies used on our website can be disabled through your browser. To disable cookies through your browser, follow your browser instructions. Normally within the “Help,” “Tools” or “Edit” menus in your browser. Please note that blocking or deleting cookies may lead to reduced functionality of some features on the website. Therefore, the website may not function optimally without enabled cookies, in particular strictly necessary and essential cookies. 

Changes to our Cookies Notice 

All future changes we make to our Cookie Notice will be posted on this website. 


In case of any question, you can contact ESA DPO, as first point of contact, by sending an email to: