Plans for German Satellite Launch Operation in North Sea Move Forward

The German government and a group of companies are moving forward with plans to launch satellites from a ship in the North Sea. Market Research Telecast reports that Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier announced government backing for the “New Space Small Satellite Initiative” promoted by the Federation of German Industries (BDI):

The BDI event “From the North Sea into space: the dawn of a new era in European space travel” is intended to be the prelude to the implementation of a launch platform in the North Sea from which small satellites are to be transported into space with micro launchers. To this end, German companies from the aerospace and maritime sectors founded the German Offshore Spaceport Alliance (GOSA) at the end of 2020. At the BDI event, European rocket manufacturers and GOSA signed declarations of cooperation….

Tractebel DOC Offshore, which operates maritime projects, MediaMobil, which specializes in offshore communication, the space company OHB, BLG Logistics, the shipping company Harren & Partner and the insurance company Lampe & Schwarze are all participating in GOSA. So far, the plans provide for a special ship to be loaded with a rocket and its payload, to go out to sea and launch the rocket there.

The German government is providing half the funds for a feasibility study. Bremen and Bremerhaven as under consideration as the home port of the operation.

Germany’s Isar Aerospace Wins 11 Million Euros in Microsat Launcher Competition

Spectrum rocket (Credit Isar Aerospace)
  • On April 30, 2021, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, selected the winner in the “microlauncher competition” of the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
  • Isar Aerospace Technologies GmbH receives eleven million euros from the “BOOST!” Initiative in the “Commercial Space Transportation Services and Support” (C-STS) program of the European Space Agency ESA for the qualification and two demonstration flights of its carrier Spectrum.
  • The first flight is to take place between 2022 and 2023 and transport small institutional payloads weighing up to 150 kilograms free of charge onto their orbits.

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — Many satellites are getting smaller and lighter. As a rule, they are launched as “hand luggage” together with other, larger satellites whose operators define the framework conditions. In order to bring small satellites into orbit as the main payload, a separate class of rockets has now been established – the so-called micro launcher. This small carrier market is booming in the USA and China.