3 space companies (1 major, 2 startups) receive funding from the German gov aerospace agency competition to develop small satellite launch vehicles


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Jan 31, 2010
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Translated from German.

German Aerospace Center (DLR)German center for aerospace
14 July 2020 DLR micro-launcher competition: three of These Teams next round
Jury chaired by Thomas Jarzombek (MdB), the federal government coordinator for aerospace, nominates HyImpulse Technologies GmbH, Rocket Factory Augsburg AG and Isar Aerospace Technologies GmbH. A total of 25 million euros are available for the main round of the DLR Space Administration's Microlauncher competition for the development of commercial launch services into space. Focus: Space, Commercialization, Launchers
DLR at a glance
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft - und Raumfahrt; DLR) is the Federal Republic of Germany's Aerospace Research Center.
Three Teams will be taking part in the DLR Space Administration's Microlauncher competition one round further: "I am very pleased to announce the winners of the preliminary round in alphabetical order: HyImpulse Technologies from Baden-Württemberg, Isar Aerospace Technologies and Rocket Factory Augsburg from Bavaria," said Jury Chairman Thomas Jarzombek (MdB), federal government coordinator for aerospace, commenting on the decision of 13 July 2020. "All three applicants are currently' head-to-head ' on their way to their goal and have convinced us with their proposals in technical, economic and operational terms. They will now each receive 500,000 euros for the further development of their concepts until the main round of the competition in spring 2021."
The competition supports German Start-Ups with a total amount of 25 million euros who want to develop and offer start-up services into space commercially. The three winners rely on so-called Microlaunchers, i.e. small and modern launchers with a payload of several hundred kilograms.
The teams from HyImpulse, Isar Aerospace Technologies and the rocket Factory Augsburg can now look forward to receiving the necessary letter of Support from DLR Space Administration, with which they will be awarded contracts in the so-called C-STS programme of the European Space Agency (ESA). This funding by ESA is provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and energy (BMWi), which Germany signed at the last ESA Council of Ministers Conference "Space19+" in Seville in November 2019. All three SMEs were founded in 2018: HyImpulse Technologies GmbH, based in Neuenstadt am Kocher, is a DLR spin-off, relies on a 3-stage rocket with a so-called hybrid drive and currently has 40 employees; Rocket Factory Augsburg AG belongs to the OHB group, has around 60 employees and is also developing a three-stage carrier system based on liquid oxygen and kerosene; Isar Aerospace Technologies GmbH has about 70 employees, is a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich and has designed a two-stage rocket based on a light hydrocarbon drive.
"With this competition and our drawing at the ESA Council of Ministers Conference, we want to initiate commercial activities in the landscape of European launchers, which has so far been heavily dominated by large companies and state development programmes. With innovative ideas and concepts, SMEs should be given a commercial and cost-effective way into the launch services market," says Walther Pelzer, DLR executive board member for Space Administration, explaining the Motivation.
The core task of the competition was a proposal for transport services from Earth to Orbit based on a Microlauncher developed by the companies themselves. A prerequisite was also the willingness to allow non-commercial payloads from universities or research institutions selected by DLR, each with a maximum total mass of 150 kilograms, to be carried on the qualification flights free of charge. In the last two rounds of the competition the winners will receive funding for the final qualification phase of your carrier system, including the implementation of two demonstration flights in the period 2022-2023. After the now completed first round will be determined in the course of the main round (2021) the first winner of the competition will receive a grant of eleven million euros. In the third phase (2022), the second prize, which is also endowed with eleven million euros, will be awarded.