Rocket Factory Augsburg is Preparing to Launch in 202131st Jan 2021
German aerospace startup Rocket Factory Augsburg is already working on its own small satellite launcher and plans to join the New Space cohort. The first launch of the German small rocket RFA One is scheduled for 2021. If this launch is successful, the company will move to mass commercial launches for the end consumer.
The Future of Humanity: Rocket Factory Augsburg’s Main Focus
Rocket Factory Augsburg AG (RFA) was founded in 2018 in Augsburg, Germany. It is a part of OHB Group and aims to provide affordable satellite rocket launch technology. RFA is growing rapidly. In the first year and a half alone, the company recruited 65 employees. Their staff base includes experts with established experience in rocket launches.
RFA believes that fair and easy access to space will accelerate human evolution. To this end, the company is developing a small-lift launch vehicle of its own, RFA One, and is willing to offer a full range of launching services.
The main principle of the company is to offer customers what they need. Therefore, they strive to provide maximum flexibility in orbit selection, payload mass, and satellite bus. RFA believes that flexibility and efficiency drive today’s world and does everything in its power to live up to this statement.
RFA One: The First German Small Satellite Launcher
At the moment, German small launcher RFA One is in its final development stages and is preparing for the first tests. This orbital rocket will have two stages and a payload capacity of up to 1100 kg into a sun-synchronous orbit (up to 700 km).
The launcher is developed using cutting edge technology. Its component parts are 3D printed from composite materials, which reduces production costs and speeds up the manufacturing process. As a result, it reduces the intervals between launches because the shorter the production cycle is, the easier and faster the rocket becomes launch-ready.
The company also considers the environment and as a result of this has developed a unique fuel from conventional building materials. It does not contain hydrazine and emits less carbon dioxide when burned. This will minimize environmental pollution during launches and simplify launch site requirements. For example, planned spaceports in the UK are built in ecologically clean regions and cannot host rockets that run on toxic fuel.
RFA One’s first test flight is scheduled for 2021. It should lift off from the launch pad of Andoya Space Center in Norway. Besides, the company has its own test site at Esrange, in the north of Sweden. In the long run, RFA hopes to start commercial launches by 2022.
If everything goes according to plan, Rocket Factory Augsburg and its small satellite launcher will take their rightful place in the list of international launch providers and will earn Germany the status of a space devoted country.