ESA title
Enabling & Support

Solar system

Solar and planetary mission operations

ESA / Enabling & Support / Operations

ESA’s exploration of the Solar System is focused on understanding Earth’s relationship with the other planets, an essential stepping stone for exploring the wider Universe. In the next decade, our research will shed new light on planets around other stars. Detailed knowledge of our own Solar System will be invaluable in the interpretation of these new results.

Our missions are gathering data to help us understand some profound questions, such as: How did our Earth and our Solar System evolve? Where are we in the Universe? Where are we going? Where did life come from, and are we alone?

In addition to the daily operation of spacecraft which explore space hundreds of millions of kilometres away, the Agency's operations teams continually work to develop new capabilities to support future missions, including flight-dynamics techniques, delay-tolerant networks, deep-space communication technologies and innovative satellite control software and systems.

Operating across the Solar System