Small and medium satellites can expect new launch opportunities on the Spectrum launch vehicle thanks to an ESA Boost! co-funding contract worth EUR11 m with Isar Aerospace Technologies in Germany.
The flight demonstrations of Spectrum will open the door to a wider range of European launch services solutions for small satellites. They will also provide dedicated launch opportunities.
Munich-based startup Isar Aerospace was initially supported by ESA’s Business Incubation Centre Bavaria and a previous Boost! contract awarded in November 2020. It is developing a 28 m high, 2 m diameter two-stage launch vehicle with a payload capability of up to one tonne to low Earth orbits.
ESA’s Boost! Programme supports European companies that make sound proposals for commercial services in space and return to space. Boost! Boost! brings these services to life by providing expertise, co-funding and access. This contract with Isar Aerospace follows a national selection process organised by the German Space Agency at DLR.
ESA will support Isar Aerospace with activities covering mission management, customer interactions and preparation to conduct two demonstration flights of Spectrum planned in 2022 and 2023.
ESA is also co-funding the manufacture, assembly, integration and test activities for the first stage structures of these two launch vehicles. This includes the procurement and setting up of the manufacturing infrastructure.
These two flights will each host institutional payloads of up to 150 kg which will be selected following a DLR Announcement of Opportunity that closed in October 2021.
“We need to drive the commercialisation of the European space industry to drive our sovereignty in space. ESA’s Boost! We will be able to achieve that goal with the help of programmes like ESA’s Boost!” said Daniel Metzler CEO of Isar Aerospace Technologies.
The Boost! Contract signed by Daniel Neuenschwander (ESA Director of Space Transportation) and Daniel Metzler (CEO at Isar Aerospace Technologies) at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt.
“Through this contract with ISAR Aerospace, ESA Boost! Further support is provided to help industry experts build their expertise and move quickly towards concrete milestones. Europe has new market opportunities with its small launch vehicles. This is a field in which time is critical,” stated Daniel Neuenschwander.
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