Payloads for the second flight of the Spectrum are fixed

This Post in a nutshell
10 European institutions and SMEs with a total of 19 spacecraft selected for the second flight of Spectrum (Isar Aerospace)
Payloads were selected as part of the German Space Agency's Microlauncher Competition at DLR
Microlauncher competition is an important component for the development of the commercial space flight ecosystem (NewSpace) in Europe

At the first German Small Satellite Conference, Isar Aerospace and the German Space Agency at DLR today announced the selection of payloads for the second flight of the Spectrum launch vehicle, which is planned for 2023 / 2024. The payloads were selected as part of the Microlauncher competition, which included a call for European payloads to apply to be on the second flight of Spectrum at no cost. The small satellites, with a total mass of about 150 kg including the deployers, will be launched into low Earth orbit from Andøya in Norway.

Artist's impression of the launch site in Andøya, Norway
Artist's impression of the launch site in Andøya, 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 with a total of 19 spacecraft from Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Norway and Spain won the competition and were selected to launch on the second flight of the Spectrum launcher.

Research institutes and student research groups:

Payload ownerPayload origin
TU Wien Space TeamVienna (A)
University of VaasaVaasa (FIN)
Technische Universität BerlinBerlin (D)
DLR Institut für RaumfahrtsystemeBremen (D)
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)Trondheim (N)
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM)Madrid (E)
Payloads of Research institutes and student research groups
Payload ownerPayload origin
EnduroSatSofia (BG)
ReOrbit OyHelsinki (FIN)
EMXYSElche (E)
UARX SpaceNigrán (E)
Payloads of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

The selected payloads will be used to demonstrate and validate technologies in orbit, ranging from IoT and AI applications to communications, Earth observation and environmental measurements. These technologies help institutes and companies 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 is contracting a privately funded European space company under ESA's C-STS program to launch 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.

Daniel Metzler, CEO Isar Aerospace

DLR and ESA launched the Microlauncher Competition as a program to advance the commercialization of European space flight and to promote competition, especially in the field of smaller payloads. Isar Aerospace won first place in the German Microlauncher competition, announced in April 2021, and received €11 million to launch institutional payloads on the 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.

Header Image Credit: Isar Aerospace
Written by M. Weissflog
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