Das BIROS-Team im Deutschen-Raumfahrt-Kontrollzentrum (GSOC) in Oberpfaffenhofen

BIROS to Earth…


It only took around 15 minutes for BIROS, the small remote sensing satellite, to report back to us for the first time after the successful launch of the Indian PSLV-C34 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket on 22 June 2016. Prior to this, the microsatellite had separated from the rocket at precisely 507 kilometres. read more

PRISMA Mission Control returned to Sweden

16.08.2011 | posted by Ralf Faller

After more than 5 months of successful flight operations by GSOC, the operational control was re-handed over again to the control center in Solna, Sweden. Since handover to GSOC in March this year, various experiments could be performed. My colleagues already reported corresponding details within the Blog. I’ll now try to describe the topic of a satellite mission handover. read more

PRISMA Experiment Operations at GSOC


The goal of PRISMA is to demonstrate sensors and flight software needed to perform formation flight and rendezvous missions. With respect to future on-orbit servicing missions, PRISMA is a milestone in developing and demonstrating the required technologies in orbit. The experiment operations started after commissioning and separation of the two spacecraft, Mango and Tango, in August 2010 . The basic experiment programme is planned to last ten months, with an additional two months for an extended campaign. The first half of this timeline was successfully executed by the Swedish Space Corporation, and after the transfer of operations on 14 March it is now GSOC's turn to conclude the nominal first year of operations. Let's have a closer look at the project structure, the experimenter's contributions and the experiment operations to be conducted at GSOC. read more

PRISMA – Mango and Tango in mission operations mode

05.04.2011 | posted by Ralf Faller

On 14 March 2011, the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) took over operations of PRISMA. Despite my 20 years of service, I must say that even though every mission launch is special, the transfer of operations for an ongoing mission has a very new ‘feel’ about it. PRISMA has been different in many ways. The aim of this mission is to demonstrate various formation flying and rendezvous scenarios at separations of as little as a few metres with satellites Tango and Mango. read more

Initial reports of success from the control room


We are off again; the team at the German Space Operation Center (GSOC) and their colleagues from EADS Astrium gathered two days ago in the control room to manage the transition to close formation flight. We began the first manoeuvre on Monday, 11 October 2010; this is referred to as the ‘drift start’ manoeuvre, which gives the TanDEM X satellite (TDX) the necessary momentum to close to a distance of one kilometre behind TerraSAR X (TSX) within a few days. read more


Art in space – or, how to set up a formation

12.07.2010 | posted by Ralph Kahle

On its launch date, 21 June 2010, roughly 16,000 kilometres separated TanDEM-X from its twin satellite, TerraSAR-X. Now, that distance has shrunk to just 2000 kilometres. The time has come for the relative movement between the two satellites to be slowed down, and for them to be set up for formation flying. To accomplish this, the Flight Dynamics Group at the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) will carry out a total of 10 orbital manoeuvres over the next eight days. read more

Shift work in the control room


As Mission Operations Director at the Space Operations Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, I am responsible for operation of TanDEM-X satellite. The first few days after the launch are always the most tense, because you obviously cannot know whether the satellite has weathered the launch well. To cover this phase as effectively as possible, we work the first week in shifts around the clock – to be ready, just in case. In this and the next few blog posts, I will report on the atmosphere and duties in the control room. read more

TanDEM-X Blog

Intensity picking up

21.06.2010 | posted by Manuela Braun

This place, the German Aerospace Center at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen (close to Munich) has a serious trekkie air. As you walk into the building where the action is tonight, chairs and shiny lights have been set up. This is where the infotainment programme will be streamed live. But take a couple of turns around nondescript corridors, and you’re on the bridge — they actually call it that (hence the trekkie reference). read more