Ariane flight VA224 liftoff with MSG-4 on board as seen by ESA's Mission Control Team in Main Control Room at ESOC, 15 July 2015. Image Credit: ESA/L. Guilpain - CC BY-SA IGO 3.0
MSG-4 liftoff

Current and future missions

The missions listed below are operated by, or are in preparation by, teams at ESOC, the European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany.

Current missions operated from ESOC

Name Purpose Description
Aeolus Earth observation (1) ESA's wind mission
Cluster II Science (4) Earth's magnetic environment
CryoSat Earth observation (1) ESA's ice mission
ExoMars/TGO Planetary science (1) Orbiting Mars - delivered the Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator
Gaia Science (1) Galactic surveyor
Integral Science (1) Gamma-ray observatory
Mars Express Planetary science (1) Europe at Mars - delivered the Beagle lander
Sentinel 1 Earth observation (2) Europe's Copernicus programme - Sentinel-1A, 1B (radar)
Sentinel 2 Earth observation (2) Europe's Copernicus programme - Sentinel-2A, 2B (optical)
Sentinel 3B Earth observation (1) Europe's Copernicus programme - 3B now operated by ESA until end of commissioning in Autumn 2018, then handover to Eumetsat
Sentinel 5P Earth observation (1) Europe's Copernicus programme - Sentinel-5 Precursor (atmosphere) 
Swarm Earth observation (3) Geomagnetic surveyor
XMM Science (1) X-ray observatory


  1. The number in parentheses refers to the number of satellites in the mission.
  2. The Proba missions (Proba-1, Proba-2 and Proba-V) are controlled by ESA's Operations team from Redu Centre.

Future missions in preparation at ESOC

Name Purpose Description
BepiColombo Planetary science Mercury explorer
Biomass Earth observation Measuring forest biomass
EarthCARE Earth observation ESA's cloud, aerosol and radiation mission
Euclid Science Mapping the dark universe
ExoMars RSP Planetary science ExoMars rover and surface science platform
Flex Earth observation Fluorescence Explorer to map vegetation fluorescence & quantify photosynthetic activity
Juice Planetary science Exploring the Jupiter system
Plato Science Discover extrasolar planetary systems and terrestrial planets
Sentinels/Copernicus Earth observation Europe's Copernicus programme - Sentinel-6A and -6B
Solar Orbiter Science Solar and heliospheric physics

Note: Some Sentinel missions will be operated in the routine phase from ESOC, while some will be handed over to Eumetsat.

ESA missions operated elsewhere

These missions are operated with the support of ESA's Operations team at locations other than ESOC:

  • Proba-1 - Operated from Redu Centre, Belgium
  • Proba-2 - Operated from Redu Centre, Belgium
  • Proba-V - Operated from Redu Centre, Belgium
  • SMOS - ESA's Operations team is responsible for SMOS payload operations from ESA's ESAC Establishment; the mission is operated on behalf of ESA by the French space agency (CNES) from Toulouse

ESA cooperative missions operated elsewhere

Name Description Operated by
ISS - International Space Station Orbiting science lab NASA (USA) / Roscosmos (Russia)
SOHO Solar observations NASA (USA)
Hubble Space Telescope Orbiting observatory NASA (USA)
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