The European Commission has announced the launch of its Galileo service. With this launch, Europe now has the world’s most precise navigation system at its disposal. Bavaria has been making major contributions that helped realize this achievement. As the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Ilse Aigner, put it: “Bavaria can be proud of its contribution to this development.”
Indeed, every part of Galileo is related to the largest German State. The German Galileo mission control center is located in Oberpfaffenhofen in Bavaria. The European Commission has tasked the Bavarian company Spaceopal with the operation of the Galileo system. The oldest Galileo Test & Development Environment (short GATE) which are used to test and trial additions to the Galileo infrastructure are located in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria. The Ariane rockets responsible for carrying the next satellites into space were largely developed in Bavaria, and one of Galileo’s most important features (Public Regulated Service, which prevents the spoofing and jamming of signals) is also largely developed in Bavaria.
All this goes to show how aerospace is a key industry for the state, employing 26,000 people and generating €8 bn in revenues. Accordingly, Starburst, the world’s first aerospace accelerator, opened up a Munich branch this year.
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