Isar Aerospace is the first privately-funded operator to gain access to the Guiana Space Centre (GSC) in French Guiana. French space agency CNES announced the news on Thursday.
GSC has been in operation since 1968 and has supported hundreds of missions. CNES responded to several requests from industry to open the site to privately-funded operators by publishing an open call for applications in December 2021.
Isar will operate its 28m, two-stage Spectrum rocket from the facility from 2024 onwards. The maiden flight of Spectrum will still take place from Norway’s Andøya Space next year.
“With adding Kourou, we will further extend our global network of critical infrastructure and gain even more flexibility for our customers,” said Isar COO Josef Fleischmann.
Ready for launch
Isar has a growing launch manifest, with more than five contracts already signed. Most recently, the company inked a launch services deal with D-Orbit to ferry an ION tug to space.
CNES’ decision to open its equatorial spaceport to the startup is the latest vote of confidence in its potential to reach orbit.