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ESA Announces RFI Towards European Launcher Challenge

Credit: ESA

Ibadan, 5 June 2024. – In preparing for the European Launcher Challenge, the European Space Agency has reached out to European launch service providers through a Request for Information. The European Launcher Challenge is a unique opportunity to participate and play an important role in shaping the future of Europe’s access to space.

ESA announced the European Launcher Challenge in Seville, Spain, in November 2023 which resulted from the Council’s decision to prepare the future of European space transportation by promoting a greater choice for European access to space, to increase the competitiveness of European launch services.

ESA Member States will consequently decide on the exact parameters of the Challenge and fund it at the ESA ministerial Council in 2025. Furthermore, the request for Information is a key element towards achieving the goal that foresees competition between European launch service providers to serve European institutional launch demands.

In addition, ESA foresees that winners of the challenge will get ESA support to demonstrate their ability to develop and fly a service and have opportunities to bid for institutional launch service contracts. While the competitive selection process of the European Launcher Challenge is scheduled for early 2025, ESA currently invites European launch service providers to participate in preparing the Launcher Challenge by promoting their service projects and expressing their views and expectations on the future of European access to space.

An increased intra-European competitive environment in space transportation services is an incentive to accelerate the pace of innovation and foster the emergence of a greater diversity of services. Furthermore, economic operators winning the European Launcher Challenge will profit from ESA support for the demonstration of their ability to develop and fly a capacity to serve institutional mission needs to access space, and opportunities to bid for institutional launch service contracts.

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