Manfred Fuchs was born in 1938 in Latsch, South Tirol, Italy. At the age of 17 he became the youngest pilot in Italy. One year later he went to Germany. After his studies of Aeronautics in Munich and Hamburg he began his career in the newly created space company ERNO and became involved in projects like ARIANE-1, SPACELAB, and COLUMBUS.
Manfred Fuchs was one of the early Post World War II space pioneers in Germany. He started his industrial career in ERNO, Bremen, until he and his wife created their own space company OHB which was developed in less than 30 years to the number one national space enterprise in Germany with subsidiary companies in various European countries and almost 2500 employees.
OHB’s success story is based on many things but in the center are innovative solutions and small satellites. The early work in this field laid the basis for winning the SAR-Lupe constellation for the German Ministry of Defense with 5 radar reconnaissance satellites all launched and operated without a problem. Then, in 2007 a large ESA contract for the development of small geostationary satellites gave OHB the opportunity to further improve their capabilities in the field of telecommunications satellites. A major company highlight was the successful acquisition of the contract to develop and build 14 Galileo satellites in 2010. In the same year Thales-Alenia with OHB as subcontractor won 6 Meteosats from ESA/Eumetsat which created a dramatic increase of the order book. All along OHB acquired other companies in Europe. The most important ones were Carlo Gavazzi, MAN-Technologie AG in 2005 and Kayser-Threde in 2007. OHB has eventually become an “Aktiengesellschaft” and in 2015 a “Societe Europeen” (SE).