ESA Commissions Rocket Factory Augsburg for a Space Transportation Study

1st Apr 2021
RFA team

On 11th March, the ESA commissioned Rocket Factory Augsburg, OHB Group’s subsidiary, to conduct a study in the space transportation sector. Along with RFA, the European Space Agency hand-picked ArianeGroup and Avio. Three contracts under the New European Space Transportation Solutions (NESTS) initiative add up to €500,000 ($597,000) in ESA funds. 

Rocket Factory Augsburg & Its Part in NESTS Initiative

The study RFA is about to conduct will try to estimate the demand for future European space transportation. The review should come up with a predictive analysis covering the 2030-2050 period. RFA will use several evaluation approaches to meet this goal. 

First of all, the startup will estimate how many launchers will have to be produced during this period. Aside from the number of carriers, Rocket Factory Augsburg will have to analyse and predict additional services associated with each launch. The latter includes technology, infrastructure, maintenance, and other organizational matters. ESA has given Rocket Factory Augsburg four months to carry out the research. The OHB consortium will work in parallel with ArianeGroup and Avio.

According to Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA Director of Space Transportation, this study should lay the necessary foundation for European rocket launches. RFA’s study should highlight future needs for space programs and help Europe address international launch market needs. 

Marco Fuchs, CEO at OHB Group, believes that this study will become an important step in commercialising European space launches. Investigating future space transportation needs should help Europe become a key player in the international space segment. 

Rocket Factory Augsburg is excited about this new collaboration opportunity with the ESA. The young but aspiring company explores innovative solutions while designing its launchers. RFA strives to provide the most cost-effective and competitive solutions to make Europe a top player in the international launch industry. 

Jörn Spurmann, RFA Chief Commercial Officer, is optimistic about the collaboration, stating that the combination of government programs and commercial developments is one of the most effective forms of collaboration in the space sector. Spurmann adds that consistent production of serial rockets will reduce the cost of launching services, which is a priority for most aerospace startups today. 

Hopefully, the collaboration between OHB, with Rocket Factory Augsburg in the lead, and ESA will bring cost-effective space transportation solutions another step closer to all launch providers. 

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