Credit: Isar Aerospace / DLR

Munich, 06 December 2022 – Today, at the first German Small Satellite conference, Isar Aerospace and the German Space Agency at DLR have announced the selection of payloads for the second flight of the company’s launch vehicle Spectrum, planned for 2023-2024. The payloads have been selected in the process of the Microlauncher competition, which included an Announcement of Opportunity for European payloads to come on board Spectrum's second flight for free. The small satellites, with a total mass of approx. 150 kg, including the deployers, will be transported into a LEO orbit from Andøya in Norway.

Selected payloads from European research institutes, student research groups and SMEs mainly used to demonstrate technologies

Ten European research institutions and small to medium-sized companies, a total of 19 spacecrafts, from Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Norway, and Spain, have won the competition and were selected to fly on Spectrum’s second flight.

Research institutes and student research groups:

  • Austria, Vienna (TU Vienna Space Team)
  • Finland, Vaasa (University of Vaasa)
  • Germany, Berlin (Technical University Berlin)
  • Germany, Bremen (German Aerospace Center - Institute of Space Systems)
  • Norway, Trondheim (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
  • Spain, Madrid (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid)
Small and medium sized companies:
  • Bulgaria, Sofia (EnduroSat)
  • Finland, Helsinki (ReOrbit Oy)
  • Spain, Elche (EMXYS)
  • Spain, Nigrán (UARX Space)

The selected payloads are in-orbit demonstration and validation of technologies ranging from IoT and AI applications to communication, Earth observation, and environmental measurements. These technologies will help the institutes and companies to gain experience and validate their products.

An important building block for the development of Europe’s commercial private space ecosystem

With the Microlauncher competition, the German government entrusts a privately financed European space company under the ESA C-STS program to transport institutional payloads into orbit. “Congratulations to the winners of this round! We are pleased to welcome the payloads onboard of Spectrum’s second flight and very happy to provide such great projects with access to space. Pushing the development of research and technology in space will help grow the overall private space ecosystem in Europe,” says Daniel Metzler, CEO of Isar Aerospace.

DLR and ESA have set up the Microlauncher competition as a program to drive forward the commercialization of European spaceflight and drive competition, especially in the field of smaller payloads. Isar Aerospace achieved the top place in the German Microlauncher competition in April 2021, for which it received 11 million euros towards the launch of institutional payloads on its first two flights. “Technological excellence and cost-efficient value creation processes are the basis for positioning oneself successfully in the dynamic and growing small satellite market. Start-ups and SMEs play an essential role here due to their agility," says Walther Pelzer, Member of the DLR Executive Board and Director General of the German Space Agency at DLR. "The reliable prospect of public contracts helps young companies in particular to secure funding. Our microlauncher and payload competitions are key elements here," adds Pelzer, referring to the role of the state as an anchor customer.

About Isar Aerospace

Isar Aerospace, based in Ottobrunn/Munich, develops and builds launch vehicles for transporting small and medium-sized satellites as well as satellite constellations into Earth’s orbit. The company was founded in 2018 as a spin-off from Technical University Munich. Since then, it has grown to more than 300 employees from more than 40 nations with many years of hands-on rocket know-how as well as experience within other high-tech industries. The company is privately financed by former SpaceX VP Bulent Altan as well as world-leading investors including Airbus Ventures, Apeiron, Earlybird, HV Capital, Lakestar, Lombard Odier, Porsche SE, UVC Partners, and Vsquared Ventures.

Source: Isar Aerospace

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Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.