Isar bolsters launch manifest with D-Orbit contract

Isar sign contract with D-Orbit to launch the company's ION space tug.

Italy’s D-Orbit and Germany’s Isar Aerospace have inked a launch services deal. The mission will be launched aboard the German launch startup’s two-stage Spectrum rocket from Norway’s Andøya Space no earlier than 2023.

D-Orbit offers “last-mile” space transportation services via its ION Satellite Carrier. The orbital transfer vehicle is capable of deploying several satellites into distinct orbital slots. D-Orbit claims that the spacecraft reduces the time from launch to operations by up to 85% and launch costs by up to 40%.

  • By the way…D-Orbit announced plans to go public via SPAC at the beginning of the year. 

“We are glad to partner with Isar Aerospace and have great confidence in the technological development of the Spectrum launch vehicle,” said D-Orbit CEO Renato Panesi. “Together we will leverage the potential of in-orbit transportation.”

Isar’s 28-meter Spectrum vehicle launch is designed to carry up to 700 kg payloads to sun-synchronous orbit. The company is currently targeting 2023 for Spectrum’s maiden flight.

Isar Aerospace launch manifest

Isar’s D-Orbit deal is the latest contract in an impressive, growing pre-maiden-flight launch manifest being built by the German launch startup.

  • Isar signed its first launch contract with Airbus in April 2021 to launch an as-yet unconfirmed Earth observation satellite.
  • Also in April, Isar won the first round of the DLR Microlauncher Competition. As winners, the launch startup was awarded €11M and will be required to carry 150 kg of institutional payloads free of charge aboard the company’s first two Spectrum flights.
  • In September, German Earth observation startup OroraTech signed a multi-launch contract with Isar to deliver ten of the company’s CubeSats to sun-synchronous orbit.
  • In October, Bulgarian software-defined satellite provider EnduroSat signed a multi-launch rideshare contract with Isar to carry the company’s nanosatellites to orbit.
  • In December, Swiss internet of things startup Astrocast signed an agreement with Isar to launch one of the company’s nanosatellites aboard a rideshare mission.

In addition to these firm launch contracts, many of Isar’s customers have also retained the option for additional Spectrum flights.

Launch ain’t cheap

Isar is the most well-funded launch startup in Europe, having raised $180M+ to date. Most recently, Isar completed a $75M extension of its Series B. In addition to its funding success, the startup has also won €11M as part of the DLR Microlauncher Competition (as stated above) and €10M as winner of the European Commission’s low-cost launcher award.

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