Telespazio wins contract to run ESA services in Spain

19 August 2021

Telespazio UK has been awarded a €14M Framework Service contract by the European Space Agency to run the science operations centres of the astronomy, heliophysics and fundamental physics missions of ESA at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Madrid, Spain.

As part of the contract, Telespazio UK and the consortium will also provide scientific guidance to the data archives and maintain the project and applications area of the ESAC computing infrastructure.

The service contract commenced in July 2021 for an initial term of 18 months and will involve over 70 scientists and engineers from a consortium of European companies including Serco Nederland BV, Quasar Science Resources SL, Fractal SLNE, HE Space Operations BV, ATG Europe BV, ISDEFE, GMV, Aurora Technology BV, RHEA System BV and Telespazio Belgium

Telespazio will lead a strong incumbent team of mission specialists, operations scientists, software engineers and IT specialists. This team of experts will maximise the scientific return from ESA’s satellites and help disseminate the findings to the scientific community and the public.

The site at ESAC performs scientific operations for ESA’s fleet of satellites, which observe the Universe and explore our solar system. This involves planning and scheduling observations, calibrating complex instruments and archiving the data - ready for distribution to scientists across the globe. 

ESAC supports a number of missions, including Gaia, a set of two optical telescopes designed to map the position of a billion stars, XMM-Newton, one of the world’s great X-ray observatories, Solar Orbiter, the most complex scientific laboratory ever sent to the Sun and cluster and a host of other innovative satellites, which are still being developed, including Euclid, PLATO, Athena and LISA, the space-based gravitational wave detector. 

Telespazio UK brings a wealth of experience into all facets of operating these satellites, having had engineers on site at ESAC, supporting ESA, continuously since 1995. 


Mark Hewer, CEO of Telespazio UK, said: “I am so pleased that Telespazio UK has been awarded these contracts by ESA covering services in the Scientific Operations domain. ESAC has been a long-standing customer of Telespazio and is a core part of our business. We have such a great team based in Spain that have an excellent reputation with ESA, which we look forward to continuing. Our contracts are also real evidence of the partnering approach we take to our ESA business and I am pleased to acknowledge these collaborative relationships.”

Markus Kissler-Patig, Head of the Science and Operations Department, ESAC said, "ESA is very pleased to be able to count on Telespazio's services in the Science and Operations Department of the Directorate for Science. We are developing state-of-the-art science operations systems for numerous space missions, operating these systems and running their archives whether past or present astrophysics, heliophysics and planetary science missions. Telespazio is delivering reliable and expert services in these domains and we are looking forward to continue the productive partnership in the next years."