Isar Aerospace: Next-Generation Spectrum Rocket Production16th Mar 2021
The German company ISAR Aerospace is challenging old launch vehicles by offering a fundamentally new type of orbital launch spacecraft – Spectrum rockets. The innovative launcher is expected to provide a safer and more flexible way into outer space.
What is Spectrum?
ISAR Spectrum rocket will be able to deliver small and medium satellites weighing up to 1000 kg to low-earth orbits, up to 700 kg – to SSO, and deploy satellite constellations in different orbits. Depending on the payload’s mass and size, the two-stage rocket will use two types of fairings. The first stage is equipped with 10 jet next-generation rocket engines developed by ISAR with the ability to shut down each separately, reducing the risk of an accident. The second stage engine will have a multi-ignition function to perform complex orbital maneuvers, such as putting multiple satellites into different orbits.
ISAR is also betting on a new type of fuel. The company claims that the combination of hydrocarbon mixtures with liquid oxygen will displace previous, more toxic fuel vapors.
Spectrum rocket launch – closer to the stars
ISAR Aerospace is growing rapidly. Since 2019, it has managed to get funding of about $ 100 million, increased the staff from 20 to 100 employees, and expanded production capacity. In March 2020, ISAR signed an agreement with the Swedish Space Corporation to provide a test stand and a test site at the Esrange Space Center in Sweden. In September, French CNES provided ISAR with a launch site at the Guiana Space Centre located in Kourou. The choice was not accidental. This is the only spaceport with a geographic location that allows entering any orbit.
ISAR was also able to invite a valuable expert Alexandre Dalloneau, who previously worked at Arianespace. The company hopes that Dalloneau’s eight-year experience in the leadership of the Vega and Ariane 5 missions will accelerate the process for ISAR to become one of the best private aerospace companies offering flexible launch options and next-generation rockets.
German Rocket Company Plans to Overtake Competitors
Spectrum’s first commercial flight is scheduled for late 2021. The head of the company, Daniel Metzler, promises that the cost of 1 kg of cargo will not exceed $10,000 costs. This is a very competitive price compared with the offers of already operating private launcher companies such as Rocket Lab or Virgin Orbit. However, the company emphasizes that Spectrum is superior to their spacecrafts in many ways:
- payload mass
- the ability to maneuver easily
- safety and reliability
If everything works out, Germany will have its Spectrum rocket, the launcher, which will bring considerable profit to the country given the dynamics of the market.