Erasmus Payload Operations Centre for the Cervantes Mission
ESA's Spanish Soyuz mission, Cervantes, will be operated from the Erasmus Payload Operations Centre (EPOC), at ESA' European Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
The EPOC team will be responsible for all decisions regarding the mission and its coordination, as well as for the communications with the associated control centres in Houston, Huntsville and Moscow, and with two user centres (USOCs) for scientists in Madrid and Brussels.
A team of about fifteen engineers, scientists and planners will run the EPOC. ESA astronaut Reinhold Ewald, who spent eighteen days on board the Russian space station MIR in 1997, will direct the team. Together they will make sure that Duque's scientific work proceeds as scheduled. Also, they will react to any changes during the mission, coordinating decisions and establishing priorities should any change interfere with the European experiments.