Located in Darmstadt, just south of Frankfurt am Main, ESOC (the European Space Operations Centre) is the control centre of the ESA (European Space Agency). It is responsible for the operation of all ESA satellites, controlling the ground stations and developing corresponding technologies and systems.
ESOC maintains a network of nine ground stations in Sweden, Belgium, Australia, Spain and in Kourou in French Guiana. These stations are all ideally located and are capable of supporting all possible satellite missions, regardless of whether they are in orbit close to earth, further away or even in orbits to other planets. To date, the Centre has operationally controlled 60 ESA satellites, including Envisat, Mars Express, Venus Express, Huygens, Herschel/Planck and Rosetta.
ESA/ESOC also supports missions of other national and international organisations and carries out a large number of projects in cooperation with NASA and Russia. Due to its highly developed technology and teams of specialists, it is able to control 15 satellites in routine at the same time and others in the critical start phase. Some 260 ESA staff and 500 contractors work at ESOC.
Year Of Establishment1967 in Darmstadt
Geschäftstätigkeitplanning and routine operations
of ESA satellite missions; development, operations and maintenance of ground segment, antennas, communication networks and the control rooms