European Space Operations Centre

The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) is responsible for controlling ESA satellites and space probes. The centre is located in Darmstadt, Germany. It is Mission Control for most of the space projects of the ESA. ESOC also houses the Ground Facilities Control Centre (GFCC) that is responsible for remote operation of the ESTRACK network of Ground Stations and antennas.

The last important projects that were launched and controlled from ESOC were Smart-1, Mars Express (MEX), Venus Express (VEX), Rosetta, Huygens.

Recently controlled through LEOP, and then handed over to EUMETSAT was MetOp-1.

Currently ESOC is operating the following satellites: Envisat, ERS-2, Integral, XMM-Newton, Rosetta, Mars Express, Venus Express and Cluster.

Projects under preparations include: GOCE, LISA Pathfinder, Cryosat-2, Aeolus, Herschel-Planck, SWARM, the Sentinal series and Gaia.

This centre is also responsible for the development of the technology infrastructure it requires to support existing and planned missions. Arguably its most important technology asset is the Space Control and Operations Software (SCOS-2000), an adaptable software infrastructure for monitoring and controlling the various spacecraft.

See also

* Columbus Control Center

External links

* [http://www.esa.int/esoc ESOC Website]
* [http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Operations/index.html ESA Spacecraft Operations website]


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