The Estrack network has evolved over four decades with the expanding needs of ESA’s science, Earth and exploration missions. Today, this global network of ground stations tracks satellites in Earth orbit and voyaging in our Solar System, as well as the rockets that propel them into space.
Estrack provides communication between spacecraft and the teams on Earth that control them, as well as the scientists who analyse their data.
The core network comprises seven stations in seven countries on three continents, all centrally controlled from the Agency’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany.
We celebrated our 40th anniversary in 2015! On 19 May 1975, a satellite ground station in Spain became the first to be assigned to what would become ESA. Since then, the Estrack network has expanded worldwide and today employs cutting-edge technology to link mission controllers with spacecraft orbiting Earth, voyaging deep in our Solar System and anywhere in between (access full article).
Watch Ground Station Chillax - our 40th anniversary celebration video