Micro Launcher Being Developed By Rocket Factory Portugal1st Jun 2021
Rocket Factory Portugal (RFP) is one of the subsidiaries of Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA), a German launch service provider. It has successfully negotiated a contract for developing composite structures for the RFA ONE launch vehicle, along with the CEiiA, a Portugal-based engineering and development centre located in northern Portugal.
Minister for Science, Technology, and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor has mentioned that the installation of the Rocket Factory Portugal has opened new opportunities for the Portuguese space strategy and more effective use of Portuguese and European space systems.
Marco Fuchs, the director of Rocket Factory Augsburg and CEO of OHB SE, is convinced that the market is quite lucrative for pocket-friendly and industrially manufactured carriers. Hence, he plans on entering into a partnership with CEiiA for the industrialisation and design of micro launchers in Portugal. Portugal is a new entrant to the European space industry, as compared to other European nations.
What is the Project by Rocket Factory Portugal All About?
The project will include the qualification and development of the orbital stage and payload fairing structures made of CFRP materials. Currently, Rocket Factory Portugal has invested approximately 9 million Euros for the project that spans three years. The ultimate goal is to industrialise Portugal; the AICEP has supported the investment.
Jörn Spurmann, the Managing Director of Rocket Factory Portugal and Chief Commercial Officer at Rocket Factory Augsburg, states that the company is honoured to play an essential role in the space industry of Portugal. He also states that the partnership with AICEP will allow the development of launch vehicles locally, thanks to the industrialisation knowledge from Germany and the highly qualified talent pool within the nation.
The Chief Operating Officer at RFP adds that the payload fairing will play an essential role in determining the launcher’s capabilities. Hence, Rocket Factory Augsburg has joined hands with CEiiA as their development partner. They will be developing composite products.
What Is The Stage Of The Development?
According to Tiago Rebelo, the Technical Director of CEiiA, the launchers are now in their prototype stage. CEiiA has received great support from PT Space, the Portuguese space agency. Currently, the contract has started with developing the complex space shuttle components, and the qualification and production of the composite support structure seem like the next step. Rebelo also states that the CEiiA is very excited with the vision of Rocket Factory Portugal and the overall challenge provided by the Rocket Factory Augsburg.