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Access to space


Each proposal shall address only one of the following two sub-topics:

a) Innovative concepts for low cost launch system and services for mini-, micro-, nano-satellites and cubesats: with an aim at further increasing launch frequency and lowering launch costs including for those satellites with dedicated orbit requirements (e.g. precise orbital insertion for nano-cubesat satellites), for the worldwide commercial market,. They shall seek coherence and complementarity with on-going ESA initiatives. Proposals could include for instance, upper stage related technologies (e.g. disruptive technologies for upper stage low thrust / high Specific Impulse / green propellant engine, avionic miniaturisation, dispensers with advanced deployment capabilities) and the identification of advanced low cost materials.

b) Launch system advanced manufacturing (e.g. tooling and machines) and modern infrastructures (including ground infrastructures for low cost European launch sites for mini,

Access to space is an indispensable element of the entire value chain of space and has been recognised as an area of strategic importance towards the direction of Europe's non-dependence.

Access to space is a matter of security of supply, industry capability and technology readiness and a sine qua non condition of the modern space knowledge-based economies. Only a handful of space-faring countries master this capability as a result of extensive institutional funding for research and development costs and the guarantee of services exploitation. Europe has achieved its remarkable position in this field thanks to national programmes and the programmes of the European Space Agency ESA, Access to Space being one fundamental origin of its own creation in 1975.

The Space Strategy for Europe has confirmed that Europe shall maintain autonomous, reliable and cost-effective access to space. It underlined that it is crucial that Europe continues to have modern, efficient and flexible launch, produ

  • Contribution to the maturing of technologies to Launch Systems/services for small satellites in dedicated orbits and with a strong focus on cost reduction and launch rate flexibility;
  • Innovative use of current Launcher technologies for mini-, micro-launchers, and associated ground segment solutions that will contribute to pursue and facilitate, in the short-term, extreme low-cost launch services for the worldwide market of small satellites and constellations, thus enabling also private initiatives to build viable business cases based on such technologies;
  • Improve business performance of European space start-ups/scale-ups (e.g. via precise deployment of their space asset and reduction of time required to have the constellation fully operational).
  • Increase compliance with the evolutions of the normative regulatory framework, in particular REACH;
  • Improved quality and safety control solutions, which are absolutely fundamental in rocketry, within three to five year