ESA title
Science & Exploration

ESOC Mission Operations

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ESA / Science & Exploration / Space Science

Based at ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) at Darmstadt in Germany, the faces below represent just a few of the many technicians and engineers supporting Europe's mission to Mars, and other space missions.

Head of Flight Operations - Alan Smith

Alan Smith
Alan Smith

Flight Operations Director Alan Smith heads the team that has been guiding Mars Express through space since its launch in June. He is now responsible for ensuring Mars Express goes into orbit after its six-month cruise.

You can read about Alan at No second chance: An interview with Alan Smith

Ground Segment Manager - Michael McKay

Michael McKay
Michael McKay

Michael McKay has the daunting task of being responsible for literally everything on Earth that Mars Express requires to get it to its final destination, and is also one of the people guiding the spacecraft there.

You can read about Michael at A giant step for Europe: An interview with Michael McKay

Spacecraft Operations Manager - Michel Denis

Michel Denis
Michel Denis

The same skills that Michel Denis once used to design safety-critical software systems for cars and aircraft are now used for overseeing the safety of a spacecraft on its way to Mars.

You can read about Michel at New machine in a new environment: An interview with Michel Denis

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