Today, the Bavarian Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Franz-Josef Pschierer attended the launch of an Ariane 5 rocket in French Guiana. He was accompanied by a delegation of Bavarian experts.
The rocket carries 4 Galileo satellites into orbit. Galileo is the satellite navigation system and GPS alternative currently being set up by the European Union. Previously, all Galileo satellites were carried into space two at a time by Sojus rockets. The change-over to the Ariane 5 rocket, manufactured under the authority of the European Space Agency (ESA), can be considered a big leap forward for European astronautics.
Bavaria accounts for a big part of that progress: The next generation of Ariane rockets is already underway, largely developed and manufactured in Bavaria. One of two control centers for the Galileo system is located in Oberpfaffenhofen, 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.
Accordingly, Pschierer attended the launch today: Aerospace is a key industry for his state, employing 26,000 people and generating €8 bn in revenues. In addition, a plenitude of local institutes conduct excellent research in this field. This competency predestines Bavaria to host one of the world’s most important satellite conferences, the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit. Moreover, in order to keep its competitive edge in space, Bavaria has been fostering aerospace startups in the ESA Business Incubation Centre Bavaria since 2009. Finally, Starburst, the world’s first aerospace accelerator, opened up a Munich branch this year.
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