I am committed to building a European space economy. Recently, I have visited the German start-up Isar Aerospace near Munich. Their launcher Spectrum is on the way to its first test flight.
Satellite technology has become an integral part of our society. It is not only about communication and navigation, but also about industry, research or emergency response. Earth observation systems such as the European Copernicus program help us in the fight against climate change.
But satellites have to be launched. And when it comes to rockets, Europe urgently needs to catch up. Unfortunately, the European Ariane launcher system is not commercially competitive at the moment. Russian Soyuz rockets have been out of the question at the very latest since the invasion of Ukraine. The only alternative at present is the American company SpaceX. But such monopoly positions are dangerous. We should not leave the future of European space activities to others – and certainly not in the hands of a single company.
We need better European launchers to bring satellites – and in a few years also astronauts – into space by our own means. And we need to do it cost-effectively and sustainably. That’s why I’m committed to fostering intra-European competition for Ariane. We need European rocket start-ups!
One promising candidate is the Spectrum launcher by Isar Aerospace. I visited the start-up near Munich in March together with the Green MPs Anna Christmann and Dieter Janecek.
Founder and CEO Daniel Metzler gave us a personal tour through their production facilities. The Spectrum is a complete in-house development. From the design software to 3D printing production processes to the tests at their own facility in Kiruna, Sweden.
This not only ensures a high level of technological independence, Metzler reported, but also cost-efficient launch prices.
Isar Aerospace was only founded in 2018 by graduates of the Technical University of Munich. Today, they already have more than 200 employees. Recently, they secured funding of 10 million euros from the European Commission.
I am excited by such projects and I am committed to creating optimal conditions for space startups in Europe.
The Spectrum is scheduled to make its first test flight this year. Very much looking forward to it!
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