Move over Musk, Bezos, Branson, there’s a new rival in town (space?)
The European Porsche family is investing in the German rocket start-up called Isar Aerospace to gain early access to nascent space technologies. Isar Aerospace is a fairly new startup, launched in 2018 that aims to provide an economical solution to launching low-Earth orbit satellites. Porsche, along with HV Capital and Lombard Odier, invested in this company with a whooping funding of around $165 million dollars, bringing its total funding to $180 million. Isar might be new but its goals are high as it aims to compete with Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The company has already started to build its Spectrum rocket, which utilizes 3D printing and automation which reduces costs of production.
It is also worthy to note that Isar is the first European company to get a contract from the European Space Agency (ESA), gaining $13 million from the German government to launch two satellites to low-Earth orbit. The company also hopes to develop reusable rockets in the future which could be a huge step in the space venture. Commenting on this joint venture, Porsche Executive Lutz Meschke said, “We are convinced that cost-effective and flexible access to space will be a key enabler for innovations in traditional industries as well as for new and disruptive technologies and business models” While Porsche’s main expertise lies in the automotive industry with vehicles equipped with the latest technology and software, having a section for high-tech space software and hardware would give the company a huge advantage over its competitors in the auto market as well.
Coming back to Isar, while the company still hasn’t launched any satellites in space, it’s still quite optimistic with the production of Spectrum and hopefully, we’ll get to see its launch by 2022.