The world has been mesmerized by the exploits of American billionaires who have made space travel almost as accessible as a long-haul flight between Dunkirk and Singapore. Richard Branson with Virgin Galactic got the ball rolling, immediately followed by Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin’s ‘New Shepard’ capsule. It is announced that Elon Musk, even if he is not ready with Space X yet, will want to negotiate a ballad in space with the Virgin Galactic capsule. All the “new” American pioneers, with whom the Porsche dynasty, the European head of the automobile industry, intends to compete.
Porsche invests 75 million dollars …
For Porsche SE, the family holding company that controls Volkswagen, the most important thing is “to guarantee access to new space technologies”, already strongly dominated by the United States. Therefore, the company decided to invest in the Munich startup Isar Aerospace. “Because space technology enables humanity to develop beyond the borders of Earth”, Isar Aerospace was founded in 2018 at the European Aerospace Center in Munich to “make access to space affordable and sustainable”; with co-founder and CEO Daniel Metzler, considered the ‘Elon Musk’ of Germany.
Therefore, Porsche joined the investment company HV Capital and the Swiss banking group Lombard Odier as new investors, injecting $ 75 million. A substantial contribution that brings total funding for the second phase of the construction of Spectrum, a lightweight launcher developed by Isar, to $ 165 million. Despite its low profile, Isar wants to compete with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin by offering “relatively inexpensive” low-Earth orbit satellite launch services.
Its Spectrum rocket, in fact, relies heavily on automation and 3D printing to lower production costs. Spectrum is a two-stage launcher specially designed for the deployment of satellite constellations. Its payload capacity can reach up to 1000kg and its second-stage multi-ignition engine can carry payloads directly into orbit.