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1970s space control

History of ESOC: How to survive in space

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As part of our celebrations for the 50th anniversary of ESA’s mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, we are pleased to make available the delightful ESOC history, How to Survive in Space, as a two-part downloadable eBook. 

The two volumes were penned by former ESA staff member Madeleine Schäfer as a wry, often-humorous personal recounting of the events and people at ESOC through its initial years, and end in 1997.

Madeleine was the 6th person recruited, and in 1964 joined the-then new European Space Data Centre, which was renamed ESOC and inaugurated as such in new facilities on the west side of Darmstadt in September 1967.

View both volumes as eBooks (links below) or directly download them as PDF files: Vol I Vol II



First volume: How to Survive in Space Vol. 1




Second volume: How to Survive in Space Vol. 2