The German Space Operations Center has successfully operated space missions since 1969. DLR has proven its expertise in spacecraft operations in more than 60 space missions with many different applications. Scientific satellites, e. g. for earth observation, are monitored and controlled from a flexible and reliable multi-mission operations environment in its control center at Oberpfaffenhofen.
Earth observation missions are currently in operation - e.g. GRACE and TerraSAR-X - or in preparation at GSOC. Furthermore, satellites for security applications, e. g. SATCOMBw, are being operated. GSOC is also developing new space operations technologies, such as satellite on-board navigation systems, high-performance mission planning systems and rendezvous and docking technologies.
GSOC is the leading institution for human spaceflight operations in Europe. The installation of the European science laboratory “Columbus” at the ISS was an important milestone in February 2008. Since then the operations team is in charge of the Columbus mission on a 24 hours, 7 days a week.
The new DLR Galileo Control Center plays a key role in the implementation of the European satellite navigation system. For this purpose the Gesellschaft für Raumfahrtanwendungen (DLR GfRmbH) has been established.