Isar Adds Another Space Tug to Manifest

Isar Aerospace has signed a multi-launch contract with space mobility startup Exotrail.
Credit: Isar Aerospace

Exotrail has signed a launch services agreement with Isar Aerospace. The German launcher will conduct the flights on its forthcoming, two-stage Spectrum rocket from Norway’s Andøya Space and the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.

More about Exotrail

The French space mobility startup offers last-mile transportation for satellites aboard its spacevan vehicle as part of its spacedrop service. The deal inked with Isar covers several missions across the 2024–2029 timeframe, and will see satellites delivered to LEO and GTO orbits.

  • Fun fact: Exotrail trademarked the terms spacestudio, spacedrop, spaceware, and spacetower, which describe its portfolio of products.  

“The contract with Isar Aerospace enables us to consolidate our spacedrop service by offering more launch opportunities to customers looking for bespoke and competitive access to LEO and GEO orbits,” explained Exotrail CEO Jean-Luc Maria.

Road to the launchpad

Spectrum is designed to carry up to 700 kg payloads to sun-synchronous orbit (SSO). Isar is currently targeting 2023 for Spectrum’s maiden flight, and at the moment, it’s currently preparing to hot-fire test its Lox + liquid propane Aquila engine.

Image: Isar

Need a ride?

Exotrail is the second startup this year to select Spectrum to carry its space tug into orbit. In June, Italy’s D-Orbit selected the 28-meter rocket to carry its ION space tug to orbit no earlier than 2023.

The multi-launch deal is also not a first for the budding launch powerhouse from Munich. In September, German EO startup OroraTech signed a launch deal with Isar to deliver ten cubesats to SSO. Moreover, many of Isar’s other contracts include options for follow-on opportunities.

Payload’s takeaway: With a growing launch manifest and $180M+ in funding to date, Isar looks to be a leading force among the plethora of European launch startups racing towards maiden flights.

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