GMV attends ESOC’s fiftieth-anniversary celebration dinner

ESOC – the European Space Operations Centre, in Darmstadt, Germany – has served as Europe’s ‘gateway to space’ for half a century. In 2017 ESOC is celebrating its 50th anniversary, highlighting a rich history of achievement in space. To formally mark the anniversary of its inauguration, last 13 November, the centre hosted an exclusive dinner to celebrate the 50th anniversary of mission control at the European Space Operations Centre.


The guests at this exclusive event represented 5 decades of ESOC’s history. The 100 dinner guests included German ministers and vice-ministers, members of the Directorate General of the European Space Agency as well as its present and past directors. Jorge Potti, General Manager Aerospace, was one of the guests at this star event, which managed to capture both the warmth and spirit of ESOC, not only celebrating the organization’s history but also bringing together everyone who has contributed to this impressive track record.


The solid and long-standing relation between GMV and ESOC dates back to 1985 when GMV won its first mission-analysis service contract for ESA’s operations center. This was followed by many other projects, during which GMV worked its way up to the position of ESOC’s number-one contractor for mission analysis, flight dynamics, navigation and mission control systems. Nowadays GMV is also ESOC’s provider of simulators, space debris, ground-station software and operations, showing the strong bond between both organizations.

Since its inauguration on 8 September 1967, ESOC teams have operated 77 spacecraft, ranging from telecom, weather, Earth observation and climate monitoring satellites to spacecraft studying the Sun or peering deep into our Universe. Exploring our solar system, ESOC has flown missions to the Moon, Mars and Venus, as well as three epoch-making triumphs: Giotto’s flyby of Halley’s Comet in 1986, the Huygens landing on Titan in 2005 and Rosetta’s delivery of Philae to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in 2014 – humanity’s first-ever landing on a comet.

More recently, ESOC has launched satellites for Europe’s flagship navigation fleet, Galileo, and the EU's new Copernicus program, and today serves as a powerful catalyst for commercial and scientific growth for space industry across Europe and especially within the Frankfurt/Rhein-Main region and its host German State, Hessen.

Photos: ESA/J.Mai