Edinburgh / Berlin, 26 April 2022. – Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA) won the 2022 round of the German Aerospace Center’s (DLR) microlauncher competition with a prize value of €11 million, RFA announced. As a result, the German government became an anchor customer of the RFA One launch service.
The aim of the competition is to strengthen commercial and cost-effective transport into orbit within Germany. It also encourages the development of business models that are viable in the long term. The decision for RFA was based on technical, economic and operational evaluation criteria. The competition is part of ESA’s Commercial Space Transportation Services and Support program initiated and funded by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
RFA’s 30 m tall, 2 m wide, three-stage rocket, RFA One, can deliver payloads of up to 1,350 kg into polar orbit. The rocket, with its “Helix” staged combustion engine and reusable core stage is expected to launch up to fifty times a year. RFA One will carry a payload of up to 150 kg on each of its first two flights.
RFA has already signed a launch contract with Lunar Research Service and nine other customers.