Space Access


Low-cost access to space is a key UK goal in order to stimulate economic growth in the space sector, with the UK government’s stated ambition to realise a space launch from UK soil by 2020.

Telespazio UK has won two key contracts to conduct studies on an affordable launch management system, and perform a microgravity market analysis. This, combined with existing world-leading spaceport capabilities of requirements and design through to development, launch, operations and commercial exploitation, is positioning Telespazio strongly in the establishment of a spaceport in the UK.

Launch Management Systems

Telespazio UK was successful in winning a contract, co-funded by the UK Space Agency and internal investment, to design a highly configurable launch authorisation system that could be used to control multiple launch sites across the UK. This contract builds on our experience in developing the Jupiter 2 Control Centre at the Guiana Space Centre (launch site for Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega rockets) and involves a re-design of the system implementation and operator interfaces. When complete, it will provide system monitoring for 30+ operators with its key function being to interface with all systems at the launch site and stop / start the countdown accordingly.

On-board Launcher Software

Telespazio had been developing on-board software successfully since the mid 1990s. Capabilities involve guidance, navigation & control, thrust vector control, roll & altitude control system, inertial reference systems, telemetry, integrated power distribution unit, multi-functional unit, failure detection, and isolation & recovery functions. Key flight heritage includes:

  • Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV), which was an unmanned re-supply spacecraft developed by ESA to supply the International Space Station between 2008 and 2014
  • Vega, which is ESA’s launch vehicle dedicated to small payloads (<1.5 tonnes) with 9 out of 9 successful launches since the first flight in 2013

Launch and Satellite Operations

Launch operations

About 200 Telespazio staff work on site to support operations at Europe’s Spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou. We provide operations and maintenance of: telemetry facilities, localisation & trajectography systems, telecommunications infrastructure, the Diane ground station, and the 3 pads which host the 3 ESA launchers of Ariane, Soyuz and Vega. We also provide documentation and configuration management regarding operations procedures and processes.

Satellite Operations

Telespazio is one of the world leaders in the design, development and qualification of Integrated Satellite Systems and in the supply of In-Orbit Control services for launch, early orbit phase and routine operations (LEOP, IOT, relocation, mission operations) during the working life of satellites in low, medium and geostationary Earth orbits. These services are provided by means of proprietary ground elements: satellite control center, flight dynamics systems and ground stations, together with all the necessary teleport facilities (systems, communications, logistical and security facilities).

Microgravity Services

Telespazio UK has been successful in winning a contract funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) to perform a comprehensive analysis of the European microgravity user community and their needs, across both academia and private companies, and the platforms that are emerging and already available that can meet demand.

This complements Telespazio’s microgravity brokering service which supports research and commercial customers in finding affordable flight opportunities. After initial inquiry, our end-to-end package of services covers each key step of a suborbital flight, such as payload assessment for optimal platform selection; legal, regulatory and fiscal requirements; logistical and integration services; and operations support from pre-launch through to payload recovery.

Service Provision of large-scale Space Infrastrcuture

Telespazio can demonstrate the successful provision and operation of large scale space infrastructure services. In Italy, Telespazio operates through its Fucino, Lario, Matera, and Scanzano Space Centres. The Fucino Space Centre has been active since 1963 and today covers 370,000m2 with 170 antennas, carrying out in-orbit satellite control and telecommunications for television and multimedia services. It also hosts the control centre of the COSMO-SkyMed Earth observation satellite constellation, and one of the control centres that manages the European Galileo satellite positioning and navigation system.

Telespazio also operates its own teleports in Brazil, Argentina and Romania, the Creil and Maysons-Lafitte stations in France, and the Italian Space Agency's Broglio Space Centre in Kenya.