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DLR Announces Winners of SmallSat Competitions

RFA ONE rocket. Credit RFA
DLR selects RFA ONE rocket. Credit RFA

Ibadan, 27 November 2023. – The German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has announced the winners of the three competitions that matched the theme of the second National Small Satellite Conference in Berlin – the Microlauncher Payload Competition, the Small Satellite Competition and the Small Satellite Payload Competition. The German Government launched the ‘Small Satellite Initiative’ to strengthen the German space industry and promote small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly start-ups in small satellites.

The German start-ups Isar Aerospace Technologies (Spectrum launcher), Rocket Factory Augsburg AG (RFA One) and HyImpulse Technologies (SL1) were successful in various phases of the microlauncher competition. The two rockets, Spectrum and RFA One, would consequently carry out four missions. At 28 and 30 metres in length, respectively and two metres in diameter, their design will enable them transport payloads weighing up to 1.3 tonnes, making them ideal for launching small satellites.

On the other hand, the Small Satellite Competition, which aims to provide organizations with a small satellite, including a payload with a zero-cost launch opportunity on a microlauncher for the year 2025, announced five winners. The winners include OroraTech, Talos, Planetary Transportation Systems, Rapid Cubes and Vyoma. In addition to a launch opportunity on a microlauncher in 2025, the winners of the Small Satellite Payload Competition will have the opportunity to receive a commercially available small satellite platform for their payload. The seven winners include Berlin Space Consortium, Marble Imaging, Airbus Defence and Space, InSpacePropulsion Technologies, High-Performance Space Structure Systems, Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (iABG), and Quantum Galactics.

Small satellites are versatile and important for flexible telecommunications services, Earth observation and climate research or testing new technologies in space.

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