The European Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, Germany, has served as Europe’s gateway to space for half a century. In 2017, the centre is celebrating its 50th anniversary, highlighting a rich history of achievement in space.

This video offers a high-speed visual tour through five decades of mission control, which encompasses 77 spacecraft, ranging from telecom, weather, Earth observation and climate monitoring satellites to spacecraft studying the Sun and peering deep into our Universe.

Exploring our Solar System, teams at ESOC have 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 Saturn’s moon Titan in 2005 and Rosetta’s delivery of Philae to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in 2014 – humanity’s first landing on a comet.

Credit: ESA