Bremen/Berlin, October 18, 2023 – The German Offshore Spaceport Alliance (GOSA) is launching its first demo mission and taking the next major step toward implementing a German spaceport in the North Sea. The first launch is planned for spring.
What originated as a visionary idea at the BDI Space Congress four years ago is now taking real shape. The German Offshore Spaceport Alliance (GOSA) is embarking on its first demo mission and will launch the first rockets from the North Sea next year. Sabine von der Recke, a member of GOSA's management board, made the announcement on Wednesday at the BDI Space Congress in Berlin. "I am very proud that after intensive preparation we are now moving from planning to implementation and I fully believe that we will soon launch the first rocket from the North Sea. With our demo mission we will show: Germany can start launchers - even on water!"
The demonstration mission is designed to show the capability of launching a rocket from a maritime platform in the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the North Sea. Initially, practical technical experience and know-how will be gathered with suborbital rocket launches. At the same time, communication channels with customers and partners as well as approval procedures with relevant authorities and institutions can be tested. "This experience will help us to implement complex orbital launches in the future. We are acting in line with the New Space concept: simple, reliable and cost-effective," says von der Recke.
The mission is to provide a mobile launch platform for microlaunchers to address the rising demand in the market for small commercial satellites, which are in higher need than ever before. Four times more satellites will be launched in this decade than in the previous one. This is causing bottlenecks at land-based spaceports. This is why the operation of another European launch infrastructure is so essential.
In the near future, the launchers will thus be used to carry satellites into orbit from a mobile maritime platform. During the test run, however, suborbital launchers will initially be started with smaller research missions. Each launch will be accompanied by a control ship and a new multifunctional Mission Control Center in Bremen. Infrastructure that will also be used for future launches and tested during the orbital research flights.
The demo campaign is scheduled to operate for about two weeks. During this time, the launch of up to four rockets with a maximum length of 7 meters and a flight altitude of up to 50 km is planned. The rockets will be built by our partners Copenhagen Suborbitals, T-Minus, Space Team Aachen and FAR. The GOSA consortium will act as operator of the maritime infrastructure and will be responsible for the onshore and offshore facilities as well as the launch ship. " I am very glad that we have already four partners on board in our demo mission who are willing to launch with us. With T-Minus, we have a Dutch company at our side that already signed a letter of intent for cooperation with GOSA at the first BDI Space Congress. Now we are taking the next step together, which is of course quite special," says von der Recke.," says von der Recke.
The Spaceport team worked intensively and for a long time towards this event. Accordingly, they are facing the future with optimism. "Simplified access to space, European sovereignty and economic growth – the German Offshore Spaceport is a huge opportunity for Germany and Europe and we are looking forward to take this chance now!"
The German Offshore Spaceport Alliance (GOSA) was founded in December 2020 and intends to provide commercial and institutional customers with access to space from German sovereign territory, safely and cost-effectively. The optimized launch site for international space projects is a floating, mobile platform in the North Sea. Launchers launched there can deliver payloads with a mass of up to one ton to near-Earth orbits.
The spaceport in the heart of Europe also offers opportunities in terms of economic policy: the rapidly growing number of start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises offering space-based products or solutions can tap into a new cluster in a market of the future. This can create a forward-looking, economic ecosystem in Germany that decisively strengthens Europe's sovereignty.
Contact for media
German Offshore Spaceport Alliance
Sabine von der Recke
Tel.: +49 (0) 172 829 78 90