January 19, 2023 | Galileo programme

Telespazio and DLR-GfR af­firm their full com­mit­ment to the Galileo pro­gramme through their suc­cess­ful Joint-Ven­ture Spaceopal

  • The agreement affirms full confidence in Spaceopal, the Italian/German joint venture designated by EUSPA as Galileo Service Operator in 2016, with roadmap for future generation of Galileo.
  • Spaceopal was confirmed as Galileo Service Operator by the EU agency EUSPA in 2016.
  • Focus: Space, satellite navigation

Telespazio and DLR-GfR have signed an agreement to renew their partnership for management of operations in the Galileo programme in the years and next generations to come. Ongoing and future work will be performed by Spaceopal, a joint venture owned equally by Telespazio and DLR-GfR which has been Galileo Service Operator since 2016. The agreement reinforces the shareholders’ confidence in the Italian/German joint venture by renewing the company’s appointment to act as Galileo Service Operator (GSOp), in continuity on long term beyond 2026.

Spaceopal’s active involvement in the Galileo programme actually goes back much further. In 2010 ESA signed with Spaceopal the WP6 Contract for the Galileo FOC Operations Services Framework Contract, while EUSPA (former GSA) signed in 2016 the official Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) contract with Spaceopal.

Ever since then Spaceopal has taken end-to-end responsibilities for management of the Galileo satellite system and its performance. In particular it covers operation and control of the system, its security, service management, logistics and maintenance of systems and infrastructure, enabling services including related performance commitments at the global level and user support.

Spaceopal performs these tasks through the Galileo Control Centres (GCC) at Telespazio’s “Piero Fanti” space centre in Fucino, in the province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy, and in Oberpfaffenhofen, on the DLR’s premises in Bavaria, Germany as well as the Galileo Service Centre (GSC) in Madrid, Spain and a network of Remote Sites.

Powerful collaboration

“Galileo has become an indispensable building block to the European infrastructure. Its resilience is therefore essential for our future. I am thereby happy to see the effectiveness of this highly coordinated international team working together. As DLR-GfR and Spaceopal are also backed by DLR’s innovative spirit and research power I see the development of the Galileo system in excellent hands,” emphasises Anke Pagels-Kerp, chairperson of the spaceopal shareholders’ meeting and Divisional Board Member for Space of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR).

“The new agreement further consolidates the partnership for working together on satellite navigation technologies and applications which Telespazio has been working on with the German space agency DLR for over a decade,” comments Telespazio CEO Luigi Pasquali. “Spaceopal has proven its dependability, competitiveness and great capability for innovation, standing out as a virtuous example of partnership and teamwork not only among enterprises but between two of the Countries playing leading roles in the European space industry”.

“Especially in difficult times of the last few years with the pandemic and European political crisis we are proud that our DLR-GfR team in Oberpfaffenhofen as well as the colleagues in Fucino have shown the utmost commitment to the Galileo every day. We are showing that we are a reliable and dedicated partner – we serve Europe,” stated Rolf Kozlowski, Managing Director of DLR-GfR.

“The confidence in us that our shareholders have expressed in this agreement makes us proud of the work we have done over the past 13 years, encouraging us to keep working harder to ensure the efficiency of the system and develop more and more innovative services for the benefit of Galileo users all over the world" – say the two Spaceopal managing directors CEO Marco Folino and COO André Bauerhin

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Telespazio, a Leonardo and Thales 67/33 joint venture, is one of the world’s leading operators in satellite services. Its activities range from the design and development of space systems to the management of launch services, from in-orbit satellite control to Earth observation, from integrated communications, satellite navigation and localisation services to scientific programmes. Telespazio plays a leading role in the reference markets harnessing technological experience acquired over the years. Since its establishment, the company has participated in major European space programmes such as Galileo, EGNOS, Copernicus and COSMO-SkyMed. In 2021, Telespazio generated sales of EUR 605 million while employing more than 3000 people in 15 different countries.


Founded as a subsidiary of the German Aerospace Center in 2008, DLR GfR mbH is responsible for managing Europe´s biggest spacecraft constellation, the European Satellite Navigation System GALILEO, at the Galileo Control Center (GCC-D) in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany on behalf of the European Commission.

Thanks to the technical infrastructure implemented by DLR GfR, the company ensures 99,99% service availability. DLR GfR’s constellation operations services at GCC-D comprise 24/7 routine operations and maintenance of the 26 Galileo satellites and of the related ground segment infrastructure. From GCC-D the operation of the globally distributed Galileo infrastructure is organised, both on-ground and in-orbit, throughout all mission phases. This includes mission planning and flight dynamics ser-vices, efficient team training and management, reliable configuration monitoring and global service-level tracking and monitoring. With an international team of more than 240 experts from 24 different nations, DLR GfR offers its customers reliable, safe and secure space services and navigates the Galileo project with foresight into the future.

spaceopal GmbH

Spaceopal GmbH, with headquarters in Munich, is a joint venture founded in 2009 by the partners DLR Gesellschaft für Raumfahrtanwendungen (GfR) mbH and Telespazio, a 67/33% joint venture between Leonardo and Thales. Since November 2010 Spaceopal has been the main contractor for operational services for Galileo, the European Union’s global satellite navigation system. Through its core business activities, Spaceopal is making a key contribution to Europe‘s performance in the field of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).


Falk Dambowsky

Head of Media Relations, Editor
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Corporate Communications
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne
Tel: +49 2203 601-3959

Lucy Licata

External Relations and Communication
Spaceopal GmbH

Paolo Mazzetti

Press office