The ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany

Next Monday (March 14) we will visit ESOC for reporting live about the first ExoMars launch. But what is this ESOC?

ESOC is the acronym for European Space Operations Centre. From here the European Space Agency is controlling almost all of their satellites. The centre is locatated in Darmstadt – a city near the better known city of Frankfurt/Main. More than 100 satellites were and are controlled from ESOC. You can easily call ESOC the heart of European space operations.

Additional tasks performed at ESOC is to plan future missions and to calculate the orbits of the satellites and spacecrafts exploring the Solar system. New technology is developed and transfered to users.

To be able to control and operate the satellites ESOC is well connected to the ESA ground stations all over the world.

If you want to know more about ESOC please watch this amazing VIDEO introduction by ESA:

Plenty of more information about ESOC is available at the ESOC website:

By the way, my visit at ESOC next Monday will not be my first one. Last year I had the pleasure to by guided by Communications Officer Daniel Scuka through this fantastic facility. We conclude this short report with a few images of this tour:


The Main Control Room at ESOC. From here the important operations are controlled. Obviously the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter/Schiaparelli stack will be controlled from here during the launch and early operation phase on March 14.


In front of one of the smaller control rooms. This one is for astronomical missions like the Gaia satellite mission my buddy and mission director Holger (the guy in the light blue shirt 😉 ) is working for. On the left you see Paxi – the ESA mascot for kids. I hope to meet Paxi again during the ExoMars launch event. 


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