The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany is the seat of the ESA’s Directorate of Human Spaceflight and Operations. ESOC ensures smooth working of spacecraft in orbit. Its control rooms linked to ground stations all over the world track and control satellites, issuing commands for spacecraft manoeuvring and payload operations. Since its founding in 1967, ESOC has operated more than 60 satellites and ensured that spacecrafts meet their mission objectives. The variety of orbits and conditions require that ESOC engineers and maintains a versatile global network of ground stations in correlation with supporting communication systems known as the Ground Stations Segment. Thanks to this versatile network of ground stations, ESOC is capable of supporting almost any type of mission, from Low-Earth Orbit to interplanetary.
In Go-lab, the ESA team contributes to the Go-Lab federation of online labs (WP2) and the Implementation (WP7). ESA will offer access to satellites and space missions, to scientific data as well as to a series of interactive applications that will be integrated in the classroom practice. The ESA applications will be integrated in the Go-Lab Portal during the first phase of the development.
For an improved understanding of our environment, it is vital to see the Earth as the complex, dynamic system. Satellites provide clear views of various components of the Earth system – its land, ice, atmosphere, biosphere, and oceans – and how these processes interact and influence each other. ESA’s Eduspace website provides secondary school students and teachers with an entry point for space image data, and, in particular, with widespread visibility of Earth observation applications for education and training. It is rich in didactical material, especially in local and global remote sensing satellite data. It is a source of ideas about how to introduce space-related matters into the classroom, where full scale examples and case studies are also presented.