Located at Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich, the German Space Operations Centre (GSOC) is part of DLR's space operations and astronaut training division, the key institution for implementing space missions in Germany. Its tasks include satellite missions for Earth observation, communication, and reconnaissance as well as manned space flights and exploratory missions into the planetary system. In more than 60 missions since 1969, the GSOC has furnished ample proof of its competence in operating space vehicles of any kind. When the European research laboratory Columbus, Europe's most important contribution to the International Space Station, was commissioned in February 2008, the Columbus control centre which forms part of the GSOC took up its duties. In addition, the GSOC operates a satellite ground station at Weilheim (Upper Bavaria). Equipped with a variety of antennas, the station is integrated into a worldwide communication network.