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News Archive 2010

Contract for operation of Galileo satellites awarded to DLR's Space Applications Company

26 October 2010

 An illustration of Europe's satellite navigation system, Galileo
zum Bild An illustration of Europe's satellite navigation system, Galileo

On 25 October 2010, the development of Galileo, the future European satellite navigation system, reached another important milestone. In Brussels, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Spaceopal GmbH signed a contract for the operation of 18 Galileo satellites.

 Contract signing in Brussels: ESA and Spaceopal agree the operations of 18 Galileo satellites
zum Bild 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 (Gesellschaft für Raumfahrtanwendungen mbH; GfR) 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 (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). "The signing of this contract demonstrates the strong commitment and the 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 will 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 will include the control of the satellites, monitoring of receiving 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 about 194 million Euro.

 Galileo – a European Community project
zum Bild Galileo – a European Community project

About Galileo

Galileo is a joint project of the European Union (EU) and ESA. The programme is funded by the EU.

Note: The contents of this document are not an official statement from the EU or ESA.


Andreas Schütz
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) - German Aerospace Center

Corporate Communications, Spokesman

Tel.: +49 2203 601-2474

Mobile: +49 171 3126466

Fax: +49 2203 601-3249

Walter Päffgen
DLR Gesellschaft für Raumfahrtanwendungen (GfR) mbH

Last update: 29/10/2010 08:48:26
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