The European satellite navigation system Galileo (artistic impression)
On 25 October 2010, another key stage was reached in the development of Galileo, the European satellite navigation system of the future. The European Space Agency (ESA) and spaceopal GmbH signed a contract in Brussels for the operation of 18 Galileo satellites.
Contract signing in Brussels: ESA and spaceopal agree the operations of 18 Galileo satellites
spaceopal is a joint venture between the DLR Space Applications Company (GfR – Gesellschaft für Raumfahrtanwendungen mbH) and the Italian company Telespazio S.p.A. DLR GfR was founded in 2008 in Oberpfaffenhofen and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). “The signing of this contract demonstrates the strong commitment and clear political will to create an independent global satellite navigation system in Europe,” said the Chairman of the DLR Executive Board, Johann-Dietrich Wörner.
Tasks of the contract partners
The operating agreement between spaceopal and ESA is the fourth of six contracts for the Galileo deployment phase. The first satellite launches are due to take place late next year and 18 satellites will be in orbit by October 2014 for the introduction of the first navigation services. spaceopal is responsible for the preparation and implementation of overall operations.
The specific tasks include the control of the satellites, monitoring of sensor equipment deployed worldwide and the
on-ground processing of navigation data. These tasks will be performed in the two
Galileo Control Centres located in Oberpfaffenhofen and Fucino (Italy) and operated by DLR GfR and Telespazio respectively. The overall value of the current contract is approximately 194 million Euro.
Galileo is a joint initiative between the European Union (EU) and the European Space Agency (ESA). The programme is funded by the EU.
Please note: The contents of this document are not an official statement from the EU or ESA.