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30 June 2015
More than 80 companies from ESA Member States met recently to begin discussing new models of collaboration to reinforce European space industry’s presence in the world market.A first-ever event hosted at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, on 25–26 June brought Agency experts together with space industry to discuss the path for future collaboration in mission operations and ground systems engineering.ESOC is home to the mission control teams that operate spacecraft and develop and manage the ‘ground segment’ – the computer systems, networks and tracking stations that support satellites in space.

At ESOC, some 800 ESA staff work with contracted specialist engineers sourced from space industry to design, build, operate and manage the ground segments for ESA missions.

Teams then monitor and command spacecraft in all types of missions, from those orbiting Earth like the Sentinels, CryoSat and Swarm, to those voyaging deep in our Solar System, like Rosetta and Mars Express. This happens in control rooms using a sophisticated and standardised array of software: mission control systems, mission planning systems, satellite simulators, flight dynamics systems and much more.

Software support engineers work on console at ESOC during critical mission phases

Software support engineer at ESOC

In addition, engineers working in specialist areas such as optical and …


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