Oberpfaffenhofen is a village that is part of the municipality of Weßling in the district of Starnberg, Bavaria, Germany. It is 20 km (12 mi) from the city center of Munich.

Ortsteil of Weßling

Coat of arms
Location of Oberpfaffenhofen within Starnberg district
Coordinates: 48°4′41″N 11°15′9″E
Admin. regionOberbayern
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Vehicle registrationSTA

The village is home to a major site of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR), and became known to a wide audience when, in 1983, the first West-German astronaut, the physicist Ulf Merbold, flew to space onboard a Space Shuttle in a Spacelab mission. These missions were partly supervised by the German Space Operations Center located at Oberpfaffenhofen.[1]

The research centre in Oberpfaffenhofen houses the DLR, including the Columbus Control Center which DLR operates for the European Space Agency and Airbus Defence and Space, and also some Fraunhofer Institutes and other scientific institutes. From 2014, OHB group moved the division, which formerly was Kayser-Threde, from Munich to Oberpfaffenhofen.

Also situated in Oberpfaffenhofen is the industrial area of (the now insolvent) Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH (later part of Fairchild Dornier). The aircraft manufacturer shared the airfield with the DLR.


  1. Only the scientific mission control was in Oberpfaffenhofen, the technical stayed with NASA in Houston, Texas.
  • "Columbus Control Centre". ESA News. 2004-08-09. Retrieved 6 December 2008.
  • "Columbus Control Centre inaugurated in Oberpfaffenhofen". ESA News. 2004-10-20. Retrieved 6 December 2008.
  • "ESA Training Team ATV". Space Daily. 2007-12-31. Retrieved 6 December 2008.

During the occupation of Germany the airport was designated Oberpfaffenhofen Air Force Depot which also served as the maintenance depot for the aircraft that were utilized during the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49.

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