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Porsche parent invests in European rocket launch start-up

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Porsche SE, the family holding company that manages Volkswagen, is investing in Isar Aerospace, a Munich-based rocket startup, to gain access to new space-based technologies.

The company has joined HV Capital and the banking group Lombard Odie to inject $ 75 million, bringing the total funding for the second phase to $ 165 million and the group’s valuation to be estimated at $ 550 million. ..

Isar is one of the European start-ups Try rivals Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin feature low-earth orbit low-cost satellite launch services.

Lutz Meschke, Porsche SE executive in charge of investment management, said:

Existing investors include Airbus Ventures, Earlybird Venture Capital and Lakestar. The group has raised a total of $ 180 million since its inception in 2018.

Isar also aims to make life more difficult for European launcher Arianespace, which is suffering from the delay of its next-generation rocket, Ariane 6.

Much cheaper than the previous generation Ariane rocket, but the latest launch version is more expensive than SpaceX’s reusable vehicle.

ArianespaceCo-owned by French aerospace companies Airbus and Saffron, has traditionally been the preferred service provider for the European Space Agency.

But in May, Isar became the first private European company to win a contract from the European Space Agency when it was tasked with launching two satellites into the German government’s orbit.

Airbus, which has been investing in Isar since 2019, has also contracted with Isar to launch an earth observation satellite.

Impression that Isar’s first-generation spectrum rocket exploded: First flight scheduled from Norway in the summer of 2022 © Isar Aerospace

Isar is targeting a launch price of $ 10,000 per kilogram, but it’s still significantly higher than SpaceX.

However, Daniel Metzler, one of the three co-founders and CEO of Isar, said the average launch cost in Europe was compared to more than $ 40,000 per kilogram for small satellites.

Isar also aims to lower prices over time as manufacturing matures and more contracts are signed.

He said the rocket has a payload capacity of up to 1 ton and can carry multiple satellites.

Still, Isar does not send a single satellite into space. The company began production of the Spectrum rocket this year and will soon begin engine testing in Sweden. The first flight is scheduled for the summer of 2022 after the launch operation in Norway.

Metzler said the latest funding round will allow Isar to expand its production of Spectrum rockets. Spectrum rockets rely heavily on automation and 3D printing to reduce production costs. The group also intended to use the funds to start developing reusable rockets.

“We want to play a leadership role for reusability in Europe,” Metsler said.

He added that Porsche SE’s investment shows a growing awareness that space is transforming traditional industries such as the automotive sector.

“Today’s cars are like gadgets and iPhones. They are becoming more software-centric, so the question is what applications you can run in your car.

“For example, satellite constellations tell us if there is a parking lot. The potential of space is a huge impetus for the automotive industry.”

Porsche parent invests in European rocket launch start-up Source link Porsche parent invests in European rocket launch start-up

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