The German Ministry of Economy confirmed today that it will evaluate an industrial concept for the possible construction of a space base in Germany. According to previous information published by the Handelsblatt newspaper, the German Industry Federation (BDI) presented a concept that is now being examined in detail.
For its part, the Ministry confirmed that on Friday officials from that portfolio held a meeting with space companies. The BDI concept envisions a launch site for small rockets in the North Sea, a kind of mobile launch pad with a state-supported private operating model.
“A German launch area is technically feasible and also strategically and financially sound,” says a strategy document accessed by dpa news agency. Likewise, it is emphasized that the realization of this project depends on a political decision and not on a technical issue. A German launch facility should be open for use by all European and international partners.
The document adds that spaceflight is of central importance for the entire German industry. In the digital age, they are the key to future technologies such as autonomous driving and Industry 4.0. Miniaturization has led to satellites getting smaller and smaller and this development is also changing the demand for space launchers.
“In the future, there will be a mix of large, medium and small launch vehicles,” the report details. According to Handelsblatt, there are three private manufacturers of so-called micro-launchers in Germany, which will enter the market in 2021-22. However, none of the three companies has a contract with a port of launch in Europe.