History: ESOC, Darmstadt, 1967
ESOC 1967: The European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) was founded in 1962. The facility now known as the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), had been established in the autumn of 1963 as the European Space Data Analysis Centre (ESDAC) in Darmstadt, Germany. The facilities initially housed large mainframe computers for the analysis and study of recovered satellite data.
In 1967, teams from ESLAB and ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, were moved to Darmstadt, to form ESOC. With the renaming and repurposing for spacecraft operations, the centre and its 90 staff moved to a new facility on the western side of Darmstadt. ESOC was opened on 8 September 1967 by then Minister of Research of the Federal Republic of Germany, Gerhard Stoltenberg. By May 1968, ESOC, as part of ESRO, was already conducting its first operations, controlling ESRO-2B, a scientific research satellite and the first in a long series of successful missions operated from ESOC for ESRO, and later ESA.