#teamSpace-Awards Shortlist

This Space News was published on Sun, 01.10.2023 – 17:41 CEST, covering #teamSPACE
This Post in a nutshell
Nominated for best merchandise: Rocket Factory Augsburg, Isar Aerospace, European Space Agency (ESA)
Nominated for best storytelling: OroraTech, LiveEO, Polaris Raumflugzeuge
Nominated for best marketing/PR: Exolaunch, KSat Stuttgart, BDI NewSpace Initiative
Nominated for best community involvement: Rocket Factory Augsburg, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), European Space Agency (ESA)
Nominated as best newcomer: Spaceping, Nadar, The Exploration Company

On October 21, 2023, the #teamSpace Awards will be presented as part of Space Creator Day. The jury has created a shortlist from all nominations received. The final winners will now be determined by a community vote until October 15th. We will reveal who is nominated in each category and why.


Category best merchandise

The coffee mug you use every morning, the outfit you wear every day, or the impressive models in your showcase - without merchandising items, modern space travel would only be half as enjoyable for many fans. So it's no surprise that many companies are already supplying the community with branded merchandise. There seems to be no limit to the imagination, which is also reflected in the range of products. From simple pens and the obligatory t-shirts to custom-made models, there is (almost) everything.

Nominees for the #teamSpace Award in the "Best Merchandise" category

Rocket Factory Augsburg

Merchandising articles of the Rocket Factory Augsburg are available at wearspace.co. Of course there are classics like shirts and hoodies with the RFA logo or a two-colored mug. To make the Augsburg developed microlauncher more visible in public spaces, there are also designs with the RFA One as well as Helix, the first staged combustion engine from the EU. For all Lego® fans, there are instructions on how to build your own launcher from the clamping bricks. The Rocket Factory Augsburg had the templates made especially for this purpose. The same goes for the mission patch, a 3D printed version of which was made by schiffer-soft.

Lego®-Version of RFA One;
© Astrodrom (Rendering)

Isar Aerospace

The microlauncher manufacturer Isar Aerospace runs a self-hosted online store where you can find everything from shirts and hoodies to caps, beanies and socks. For the little ones, there is a baby bodysuit with an age-appropriate Spectrum design - the microlauncher from Ottobrunn. There are also stickers, socks, backpacks, key rings and drinking bottles. Pictures taken in the production halls give a particularly good impression of the products. To avoid disappointment about clothes that do not fit, the height of the model and the size of the clothes he or she is wearing are indicated. To receive a ten percent discount on your next order, simply post a picture of yourself wearing Isar Aerospace merchandising on social media and tag the company in the post.

European Space Agency (ESA)

The online store of the European Space Agency ESA offers a wide range of products. However, it is not run by the ESA itself, but by the Italian company Olly Services S.r.l. You can choose from almost anything that makes the heart of a space fan beat faster. There are t-shirts, hoodies and the like for almost every known mission. In addition, there is (almost) everything that can be printed, including notebooks, pens and umbrellas. Even jewelry is available, such as a necklace in the design of the James Webb Space Telescope.

© ESA Spaceshop
Your vote counts: Who offers the best merchandise?

Category best storytelling

Ever since our species has walked this planet, stories have been told. With the "invention" of language, first orally, then as cave paintings, and finally in written form. The fact that stories are extraordinarily well suited for transferring knowledge has now also been recognized by companies. It is not just a matter of writing down one's own company history. In fact, clever storytelling can be used to explain even complex contexts without exposing the audience to the danger of information overload.

Nominees for the #teamSpace Award in the "Best Storytelling" category


The Munich-based startup OroraTech is dedicated to the early detection of forest fires from space. After all, forest and bush fires release millions of tons of CO2 every year, contributing massively to global warming. Long periods of drought not only increase the risk of fires getting out of control, they have also become a sad part of everyday life. This will be the case in Germany in 2022 and in Canada and southern Europe in 2023. OroraTech plans to build its own constellation of satellites to fill the observation gaps left by the satellites already in orbit. In its communications, the Munich-based company repeatedly explains the global context and provides background information on forest and bush fires. On the other hand, there are regular updates on the development of the FOREST satellites and the setup of the constellation.

OroraTech's earth observation satellite FOREST-2 (Rendering);
© OroraTech


Earth observation company LiveEO has its headquarters in Berlin's trendy Kreuzberg district. In rooms where prominent cultural figures once went in and out, the team is primarily dedicated to monitoring vegetation. Customers of the Berlin NewSpace startup include Deutsche Bahn, e.on and E.DIS AG. LiveEO provides exciting insights into the world of satellite data in "Wirtschaft von oben", a cooperation with Wirtschaftswoche. Each week, the focus is on a different topic, and the observed locations can be found all over the world. Complex interrelationships are explained in an understandable way using satellite images along a timeline and explanatory information.

Polaris Raumflugzeuge

The Bremen-based startup is developing Aurora, a launcher that can take off and land like an airplane. It will be able to carry payloads of up to one ton into space. A special highlight: For the first time, it will use an aerospike engine. The team around founder and CEO Alexander Kopp is literally starting small. The first flight tests were carried out with scale demonstrators. Over the years, these became larger and larger - until the Aurora spacecraft finally took off. When it comes to communications, Polaris Spacecraft is always a bit of an underdog - but behind every message is a story that couldn't be more fascinating.

© POLARIS Raumflugzeuge
Your vote counts: Who has the best storytelling?

Category best marketing/PR

Even in the space industry, "just" having a good idea is not enough. To win over investors, inform the general public, or gain a political hearing, clever marketing and PR measures are needed. Used correctly, this can lead to greater visibility and, at best, relevance.

Nominees for the #teamSpace Award in the "Best Marketing/PR" category


Based in Berlin, Germany, Exolaunch is a provider of launch services, mission management and deployment systems. To date, Exolaunch has launched a total of 325 satellites in 23 missions, including 75 micro-satellites with a mass of up to 200 kg. The majority of launches have been on SpaceX's Falcon 9, but launches have also occurred on Falcon Heavy, Electron (Rocketlab), PSLV and Soyuz. Most notable are the mission patches produced since the 12th launch (SpaceX Transporter-1 mission).

Mission Patch PSLV-C56;
© Exolaunch
© KSat e.V. (studentische Kleinsatellitengruppe der Universität Stuttgart)

KSat e.V. (studentische Kleinsatellitengruppe der Universität Stuttgart)

At the beginning of 2023, the student group of small satellites at the University of Stuttgart pulled off a PR stunt of a special kind. Based on Baden-Wuerttemberg's image campaign "THE LÄND", the students presented Minister President Winfried Kretschmann with a bright yellow flyer during his visit to the University of Stuttgart. The spelling of the campaign was also taken up under the satellite pictured: "THE SÄTELLITE". The association's main goal was to draw attention to the expected shortage of skilled workers in the space industry.

BDI NewSpace Initiative

The Federation of German Industries (BDI) is the umbrella organization of German industry and industry-related service providers. Since the founding of the NewSpace Initiative on December 1st, German NewSpace startups now have a strong lobby in Berlin. The initiative regularly publishes position papers and organizes exchange formats such as NewSpace breakfasts or space congresses.

Your vote counts: Who does the best marketing/PR?

Category best community involvement

The #teamSpace is characterized by its collegial and friendly interaction. Anyone interested in space topics automatically becomes a member of this international community. As loyal fans, they are often also ambassadors and advocates for companies or institutions. Giving them a voice or a vote on certain occasions is a charming way of returning the favor.

Nominees for the #teamSpace Award in the "Best Community Involvement" category

Rocket Factory Augsburg

Designing a rocket engine is one thing. Finding the right name for this core component of every rocket is another. The Rocket Factory Augsburg decided to let the community vote on the name. More than 3,800 names were submitted in the first round, and more than 17,000 people participated in the final vote.

To please Lego® fans, RFA also enters into collaborations. The two 1:110 and 1:42 scale RFA-One models were designed by Emil Romano, a member of #teamSpace.

© Rocket Factory Augsburg

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

DLR is the aerospace research center of the Federal Republic of Germany. The German Space Agency at DLR is responsible for planning and implementing German space activities on behalf of the German government. The community is regularly involved in these activities - for example, in bed rest studies, small satellite competitions, or as part of Space Creator Day.

European Space Agency (ESA)

In April 2023, the penultimate Ariane 5 flight launched an extraordinary mission. On board was the JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer) probe, which will explore the largest planet in our solar system and its moons until 2035. As part of the "JUICE up your Rocket" competition, ESA was looking for a motif to decorate the rocket's payload fairing. The winner was Yaryna, an 8-year-old from Ukraine.

Winning design "JUICE up your rocket";
Your vote counts: Who best involves the community?

Category best newcomer

The momentum of the German NewSpace ecosystem is also reflected in the many new companies entering the market. The ideas are as diverse as the universe itself. Be it interplanetary missions, the analysis of satellite data or the development of new technologies: There is (almost) nothing that does not exist.

Nominees for the #teamSpace Award in the "Best Newcomer" category


Spaceping wants to send messages into deep space, following in the footsteps of the Voyager spacecraft launched in the 1970s. The team, which includes popular YouTuber and author Astro-Tim, is developing its own probe. The highlight: Everyone will have the opportunity to send a personal greeting on the journey. And if you like it extra exclusive, you can even send your own DNA along.

Spaceping-Team, © Astrodrom
© Nadar


From Leipzig, Nadar offers offers a service, the basis of which was only recently anchored in a regulation at the European level: The EU Deforestation Regulation. This obliges companies to carry out comprehensive checks along their value chain for any deforestation. Caroline Busse's team monitors 257,000 hectares of forest in seven countries, using machine learning and artificial intelligence, among other things.

The Exploration Company

Until today, European astronauts still have to fly into space in spaceships of other nations. The Exploration Company wants to change that and is working hard to develop the Nyx spacecraft, which is scheduled to make its first flight in October 2024. In a first round of funding, The Exploration Company has already raised €40.5 million, a record amount in the space industry.

Raumschiff Nyx; © The Exploration Company
Your vote counts: Who is the newcomer of the year?
Header Image Credit: Free Footage
Written by M. Weissflog

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