14.12.2021 / 08:11 // DLR / Exolaunch / Isar Aerospace

Isar Aerospace's microlauncher is scheduled to take off for the first time in Andøya, Norway, as early as the end of 2022. The company has now announced the first payloads together with the German Space Agency at DLR.

In April 2021, Isar Aerospace won the Microlauncher competition. This was associated with a grant of 11 million euros to drive forward the development of the Spectrum launcher. Institutions based in the European Union (EU) or in an ESA member state had until October 31 to apply for the free transport of a payload on the maiden flight. Now the winners have been determined: they come from Germany, Norway and Slovenia. A total of seven small satellites from five institutions will be sent into orbit.

Country of originInstitution
GermanyDLR-Kompetenzzentrum für Reaktionsschnelle Satellitenverbringung (RSC3);
DLR Competence Center for Rapid Reaction Satellite Deployment (RSC3);
GermanyTU Berlin, Institut für Luft- und Raumfahrttechnik;
TU Berlin, Institute of Aerospace Engineering
GermanyZfT - Zentrum für Telematik e.V.;
ZfT – Center for Telematics
NorwayNorwegian University of Science and Technology
SloveniaUniversity of Maribor, Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications
Institutions whose payloads were selected for Spectrum's maiden flight

The fact that a private launch service provider is putting institutional payloads into space is a first in the European space industry. However, this shows that the German government can support NewSpace companies as an anchor customer in a valuable way.  

We are pleased to announce the selection of payloads for the first flight of Spectrum and thank the German Space Agency at DLR and the institutions for their trust. It is great to be part of this pioneering program and we are looking forward to further shaping the cooperation between the public and private sector in European spaceflight. This collaboration will further contribute to the development of research and technology in space and will help growing the overall private space ecosystem in Europe. 

Daniel Metzler, CEO Isar Aerospace

Dr. Walther Pelzer, DLR Executive Board member and head of the German Space Agency at DLR, adds: "With the microlauncher competition and the payload selection for Isar Aerospace’s first flight, we are taking another concrete step in the commercialization of European spaceflight. Isar Aerospace's Spectrum rocket symbolizes the dynamic development of the European space industry in recent years and in the future."

Long-term cooperation between Isar Aerospace, Exolaunch and ISISPACE

Deployment-System “EXOpod”, © Exolaunch

The small satellites will weigh a total of 100 kg and will be released into orbit using "EXOpod". The so-called deployment system is 100% "Made in Germany" and is manufactured by Exolaunch. The company, based in Germany and the United States, has launched a total of 170 satellites into space on 13 missions over the past 10 years. This makes it one of the world's leading providers of launch, deployment, space transportation and integration services for the NewSpace industry. As Jeanne Medvedeva, Vice President of Launch Services at Exolaunch points out, the two companies also intend to work together in the long term.

Our advanced separation systems have enabled reliable launch and deployment for nearly over 170 small satellites, and together with Isar Aerospace we can bring an end-to-end, 100% made in Germany launch service. We are happy to partner with Isar Aerospace, as we see the company becoming an important player in the European launch landscape.

Jeanne Medvedeva, VP of Launch Services, Exolaunch

The Dutch company ISISPACE, which designs and supplies small satellite platforms (cubesats) for individual missions and constellations, is also involved. The Delft-based NewSpace company is considered to be an industry leader in the field of nanosatellites and has already conducted or supported numerous launch campaigns with various launch vehicles. In the past, ISISPACE has successfully launched more than 500 satellites into orbit. For Spectrum's maiden flight, ISISPACE will provide an additional deployer for the satellites, a deployment command sequencer and integration support.

via Isar Aerospace

Written by (MWe)