This nondescript industrial city south of Frankfurt is Europe's eye on the cosmos, where data from European Space Agency (ESA) scientific spacecraft are first translated into new insights on how the universe works. Engineers at ESA's European Space Operations Center (ESOC) here have run more than 45 major space missions since 1967, most of them with one-of-a-kind scientific spacecraft that require years of planning and analysis even before the first metal is bent. Like other world-class ...

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