Isar Wins €10M European Launch Prize

A rendering of Isar Aerospace's Spectrum , a two-stage orbital launch vehicle with a maiden flight planned for late 2022.
Via Isar

Isar Aerospace has won 10 million euros (~$11.3M) in prize money from the European Commission’s “Low-Cost Space Launch” competition. The prize specifically recognizes Spectrum, Isar’s two-stage orbital launch vehicle for small and medium satellites. 

  • Founded in 2018, Isar is based in Ottobrunn and Munich, Germany. 
  • Spain’s PLD Space and Rocket Factory Augsburg, another aspiring German launcher, were the other finalists for the prize money. 

Isar has raised $180M to date. The well-capitalized European microlauncher is relying on vertical integration out of the gates, by fully designing and manufacturing Spectrum in-house. 

All eyes on…the end of 2022, when Spectrum’s maiden flight is expected to take place. The rocket has an advertised payload capacity of 1,000kg to LEO. Isar is aiming for a launch price of $10,000/kg, the FT reported last July. 

European bona fides: “The prize marks an important moment in Europe’s path to achieving sovereignty in space,” Isar noted in a press release. Over 90% of Isar’s investors are European, per CEO Daniel Metzler, and a similar proportion of the company’s manufacturing and supply chain is concentrated on the continent.

+ While we’re here: ESA will hold a summit in Toulouse, France, on Feb. 16 to highlight Europe’s “bold space ambitions.” 

Related Stories

SatVu Plans Two New ‘Thermometer’ Sats After Failure

London-based SatVu is preparing to launch two temperature-taking satellites next year after losing its pathfinder mission in December.


Exclusive: Pixxel, Enabled Intelligence Team Up

Pixxel and Enabled Intelligence are announcing a new partnership under which the data labeling startup will annotate the space company’s hyperspectral imagery. 


Introducing Portal Space Systems

The next era of the space economy will involve servicing and life extension, if the players in the industry today have it their way, and that will require extreme spacecraft maneuverability.


How Do You Know If Your Satellite Has Been Hacked?

A survey of satellite operators in 2023 found many were unaware of standard cybersecurity practices.