Topping-off ceremony for new ESOC building 2013

ESOC grows into the future

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Aerospace is attractive and ESOC’s business value is expanding and in step with the increasing number of satellite launches and missions. 

“And the more growth we experience, the greater the impact on the city and region, as more personnel, more know-how and more infrastructure are needed,” says Rolf Densing, Head of the European Space Operations Centre. ESOC's location in Darmstadt’s Robert Bosch strasse has been expanded in recent years, with the addition of two new buildings and other improvements.

The demolition and rebuilding of the control and computer centre to the tune of EUR 14 million is the next project on the agenda. 

Open house in 2009
Open house in 2009

“ESOC attracts audiences from the region, across Europe and worldwide,” says Densing, and medium-term plans also foresee building a visitor and event centre. Around 10,000 people attend symposia, conferences and media events annually, and space and facilities at the Centre are hard-pressed to handle the demand.

For example, the Communication Office arranges over 200 interviews with media every year, and ESOC’s publicity programme, including guided tours of the control facilities, is also very popular.

Jocelyne Landeau-Constantin, Head of the Communication Office, remembers the early 1990s well, when she guided small, infrequent groups of visitors around ESOC. But those times are over.

Today, ESOC hosts around 15,000 visitors per year and the limits of capacity have long since been reached, and the new visitor centre could, in contrast, host up to 90,000 guests.

“An attractive extension of ESOC would also be attractive to the city of Darmstadt and the region as well,” Densing notes.

More information

ESOC − European Space Operations Centre

50 years of ESOC: Treasures from the archives

History of ESOC: How to survive in space (eBook)

#ESOC50 gallery in Flickr

ESOC mission history 1967-today

ESA history


ESOC profile video (2017)

ESOC: Where missions come alive
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Read more on '50 years of ESA's Mission Control'


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