At the first German Small Satellite conference, Isar Aerospace and the German Space Agency at DLR 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 spacecraft, 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:
Small and medium sized companies:
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 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 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 for 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 micro launcher and payload competitions are key elements here," adds Pelzer, referring to the role of the state as an anchor customer.
Click here to learn about the Spectrum Launch Vehicle from Isar Aerospace.