Dr Klaus Lenhart worked at ESOC for 37 years, retiring as the head of engineering standards in 2000. He says work at ESOC was always exciting: "Working in a European organisation - with many different nationalities - was something special. It created a different type of team spirit."
Audio recollections of Klaus Lenhart (stream mp3)
Klaus Lenhart is originally from Austria and he arrived at ESOC in September 1964 - when it was still known as ESDAC (European Space Data Centre). He initially worked as an engineer, analysing data from some of the early European sounding rockets.
During a long career, he held a variety of posts, ranging from software development to geo-data processing. He worked on Meteosat, Europe's first weather satellite programme, as the head of software support. At various times, he was tagged to serve as a PR spokesperson for ESOC, and he recalls being asked to comment as guest expert for German TV during the Apollo 11 Moon landing ("I think I must have done over one thousand interviews between 1969 and 1995," he says).
In the later stages of his career at ESOC, he worked on technical standardisation projects, one of which has evolved today into the globally accepted Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) standards - that enable, for example, ESA and NASA ground stations to intercommunicate seamlessly.
He is now retired and living in the Darmstadt area, where he remains active in supporting other retired staff through ARES - the Association of Retired ESA Staff.
Last update: 13 December 2007