The Directorate of Science (D/SCI) is responsible for ESA's mandatory scientific programme. It also provides scientifc support to the Exploration and other programmes. The Directorate consists of several Departments and Offices. The SCI Portal is mainly used for activities of the Science Support Office (SSO, known internally as SCI-S), the Operations Department (SCIOPS, known internally as SCI-O) and the Future Missions Department (SCI-F).
The Science Support Office is the home of the Study and Project Scientists who provide the crade-to-grave scientific oversight of the Directorate's missions. These scientists ensure that the maximum scientific return, within applicable constraints, is maintained as an objective throughout all mission phases.
The Operations Department is responsible for the overall management of the Directorate's missions once successfully commissioned in orbit, as well as for conducting the actual science operations activities. The department is also responsible for maintaining archive facilities during the operational and post-operational phases of the missions in order to ensure the effective delivery of scientific data to the scientific community. Within the department there are three divisions:
- Mission Operations Division (SCI-OO)
- Operations Development Division (SCI-OD)
- Data and Engineering Division (SCI-OP)