People in Space: The Fuchs family, OHB, Germany5th Dec 2019
Manfred and Christa Fuchs
The original business that went on to become the OHB we know today was founded in 1958 as OHB operating as a Marine installation company, eventually being taken over by Christa and Manfred Fuchs in the early 80s. Fuchs changed the company’s direction completely by focusing on satellites and aviation technology, eventually building the company from 5 employees to over 1,600 by 2009. Today, the company employs over 2,700 people and turns over 1 billion euros annually.
Manfred Fuchs sadly passed away in 2014 while on holiday in his home country of Italy. But by that point had become a powerhouse in the global space industry, with his company being a significant contributor to the European Commission’s Galileo satellite constellation as well as many more achievements across the industry.
Manfred’s son, Marco Fuchs, became the CEO of the now-significant OHB Space business in 2000, which now has subsidiaries in Italy, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Belgium, French Guiana and Greece.
He initially joined the family aerospace business in 1995 becoming the company’s Managing Director, then becoming its CEO and ultimately in 2011 Chairman of the group. Prior to joining the family business, Marco Fuchs was a lawyer with an impressive legal career that saw him work in Hamburg, Frankfurt and New York, obtaining a master’s degree in Law at New York University.
Marco has recently added a new division to the business by entering into the small launch sector, which is now seeing considerable movement globally. His Rocket Factory Augsburg, a subsidiary of OHB’s MT Aerospace business, will build small launch vehicles that take small satellite constellations into orbit.
The company already have an impressive background in the manufacture of rocket parts and was a major contributor to the European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 as well as many other launch projects around the globe. They are now also contributing to the Ariane 6 project.
There is absolutely no doubt that the Fuchs family have contributed quite significantly to the global space industry and has built a legacy that will be spoken of in space circles for many years to come.