On January 18, 2022, the three finalists of the €10 million European Innovation Council (EIC) award were announced. The goal is to develop a solution for the cost-effective launch of satellites into low orbit. At the 14th European Space Conference, Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, announced the winner of the Low Cost Space Launch initiative.
The official award ceremony took place on January 25, 2022 during the 14th European Space Conference in Brussels. EU Commissioner Thierry Breton presented a check for 10 million euros to Daniel Metzler, CEO and Co-Founder of Isar Aerospace, who stated: "I am beyond proud! Winning the EIC Horizon Prize is not only a great success for the Isar Aerospace team and a proof of what we have already achieved, but it is also a vote of trust by the European Commission."
Support for autonomous, European access to space
The prize money will be used for further investments in research and development capacities as well as in test and launch infrastructures. The "Spectrum" Mircolauncher, a 2-stage rocket, is also still under development and is scheduled to take off for the first time at the end of 2022. As Breton pointed out, Isar Aerospace is making a significant contribution to supporting European space ambitions for autonomous, reliable and cost-effective access to space. In the award criteria "excellence, technical implementation and sustainability of the solution", the Munich-based company received the highest score, beating out the two other finalists Rocket Factory Augsburg and PLD Space (Spain).
Awards, winnings and cooperations - success all along the line
By winning the EIC Horizon competition, the NewSpace startup's series of successes continues in 2022. As recently as December 2021, the German Space Agency at DLR and Isar Aerospace announced that the customers for the Spectrum's maiden flight had been determined. The Munich-based company is also a founding member of the BDI's NewSpace initiative and the UN:IO space consortium, which also includes satellite manufacturer Reflex Aerospace and Mynaric. Furthermore, in April 2021, Isar Aerospace won the Microlauncher Competition of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), which was endowed with 11 million euros.