ESOC Ground FacilitiesAll ESA Ground Facilities

The Main Control Room (MCR) at ESA's European Space Operations Centre

Credits: ESA - P. Sebirot

Please sign in to download.

The Main Control Room (MCR) at ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany. The Main Control Room (MCR) is a core element of ESA's general-purpose ESA Operations Control Centre (OCC) - the facilities of which provide all the necessary functions to handle spacecraft & ground-segment control, orbit & attitude determination, and data acquisition & processing. The MCR is used for the preparation of new missions, mostly during testing and simulation phases, and during critical mission control phases, such as the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP), or special operations like deep-space missions, as well as for emergency or contingency operations which normally require a larger flight control team. Within the OCC, some different functions are handled from within other separate, dedicated rooms. The Flight Dynamics Room (FDR) is used during critical mission phases for orbit and attitude calculations, and for routine operations at any other time. The control, monitoring and supervision of the Estrack network of ground stations are conducted from the Ground Configuration Control Room. This room is occupied 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. During the mission routine phase, spacecraft monitoring and control functions are carried out from a Dedicated Control Room (DCR). ESOC was founded on September 8, 1967, and has since been serving as ESA's control center for the operation of numerous satellites as well as the necessary ground stations and their related communication network. ESOC has controlled over 50 ESA satellites and supported more than 40 satellite missions for other organisations worldwide. The OCC and the MCR have been regularly upgraded to meet the requirements of new and more demanding missions.

Event Date
Release Date