This remarkable video footage was provided by Hessische Rundfunk and was recorded prior to the inauguration of the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), Darmstadt, Germany. The original audio is in German (there is no English version available).
Prior to ESOC's inauguration on 8 September 1967, the centre was known as the European Space Data Analysis Centre (ESDAC) and its role was limited to the processing of orbital data for satellites flown by the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO). As such, it featured a powerful mainframe computer, which was used by the ESDAC scientists as well as visiting researchers as there were not so many computers in Germany at the time.
In a resolution from April 1967, the ESRO Council had decreed that the control centre for the ground stations network should be moved from ESTEC, in the Netherlands, to ESOC, together with mission control activities, in part to efficiently combine spacecraft operations and data processing.
The footage includes an extended interview with representative director Dr Gerhard Bengläser, who, evidently, oversaw operation of the computer.
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