Bremen, January 11, 2018. “Being able to fire the starting shot for SIXDAYS BREMEN together with former astronaut Thomas Reiter is like pressing the red button to launch a rocket into space,” says Dr. Fritz Merkle, a member of the Management Board of the Bremen-based space and technology group OHB SE. The decision to have astronaut Thomas Reiter fire the starting shot for SIXDAYS on January 11 in recognition of the Bremen Space Year in 2018 has given OHB as one of the leading space companies in Europe an ideal opportunity of presenting itself in this setting. “SIXDAYS will be opening on the same day as the commencement of the Bremen 2018 Space Year under the motto “Sternstunden 2018“. This was also the reason to ask a genuine astronaut to fire the starting shot for this nationally known sporting event. Both events provide an ideal backdrop for a company that was founded and has its head office in Bremen to present itself to optimum effect. For this reason, I am very pleased that OHB will be supporting SIXDAYS BREMEN during the start ceremony,” adds Dr. Merkle, who is already looking forward to another major event in Bremen, namely the International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2018. Taking place in October in the “City of Space”, this key event in the international space industry will be welcoming around 4,000 experts from all over the world.
“With space, it is always teams that ensure the success of a mission. It brings together scientists, space agencies and industry, who jointly assume responsibility and achieve success through team work. In my eyes, this is much the same as with professional cycling. In both cases, success and victory are only possible by working as a team,” Merkle continues. He says that the privilege of firing the starting shot for SIXDAYS is a personal honor in two respects: “For one thing, SIXDAYS BREMEN is one of the most prestigious events in this sport. For another, I will be working with my long-standing and greatly respected colleague Thomas Reiter. I have always greatly admired his commitment to space and his courage in spending several months in space. In space as in cycling, what is required is staying power and patience at the right moment,” Merkle adds.
About OHB SE
Headquartered in Bremen, Germany, OHB SE is the first listed space and technology company in Germany. With 36 years of experience in high technology together with its integrated skills in the areas of space technology and telematics, the Group is ideally positioned as one of the leading independent forces in the European space and high-tech industry. Among other things, the company is the prime contractor for the development, construction and testing of 34 satellites for the European navigation system Galileo and, via its subsidiary MT Aerospace, the largest German supplier to Ariane 5 and the future Ariane 6 launcher. It supplies structural components and the upper stage tank among other things. OHB currently employs around 2,400 people worldwide, generating sales of some EUR 700 million in 2016.