Paolo Ferri on thinking outside the box | ESA Masterclass


In the first of the Masterclass series, we head to Darmstadt, Germany, where epoch-making robotic space exploration missions have been flown under the watchful eye of one man, Paolo Ferri.

Once a spacecraft is launched to space, that’s it. Thousands or millions of kilometres away, there can be no manual fixes, on-the-fly upgrades or last-minute changes. It’s now up to teams at mission control to use the tools and technologies at their disposal, as well as their own knowledge, teamwork and creativity to overcome the inevitable problems faced by any mission in space.

In ‘Thinking Outside the Box,” Paolo describes three missions that suffered unexpected and potentially fatal flaws: Smart-1, Cluster and Exosat, and how on-the-ground knowledge, innovation and ingenuity prevented their untimely demise, allowing the science to go on.

With 36 years’ of experience at ESA, Paolo Ferri is responsible for mission operations, and he has played a leading role in ensuring the success of missions like Eureca, ESA’s first-ever reusable satellite; Cluster, one of the longest-flying science missions; Venus Express, Europe’s first exploration of Earth’s ‘evil twin’; and Rosetta, humanity’s first landing on a comet.

In five episodes of ‘Leadership at Mission Control’, Paolo takes us through major events in his career at ESA, covering cornerstone missions, first attempts, overcoming technical challenges, building diverse teams, working under pressure and solving the unexpected problems that are part of any space endeavour.

New episodes from Paolo’s Masterclass will be released each Sunday, stay tuned!

★ Subscribe: and click twice on the bell button to receive our notifications.

Check out our full video catalog:
Follow us on Twitter:
On Facebook:
On Instagram:
On Flickr:

We are Europe’s gateway to space. Our mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. Check out to get up to speed on everything space related.

Copyright information about our videos is available here:


Similar Posts:

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?


  1. Pensar fora da caixa…é como inovar nas ideias que desempenham um papel fundamental na evolução!! As ideias e consequentemente associado ao cérebro potencial enorme!! Este cientista em conjunto construiu sobre ideias para a eternidade!! Haja muitas ideias e dessa uma pequena percentagem dar em sucesso …não podemos deixar de idealizar por medo!! Todo o trabalho com muito rigor terminou com missões bem sucedidas e as ideias são integrantes e vitais para a evolução humana a todos os níveis…e ainda mais no espaço!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *