Rocket Factory Augsburg AG (RFA) has partnered with Southern Launch, a South Australian rocket launch facility provider. This partnership allows for the German launcher RFA ONE to be launched from Southern Launch’s Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex in South Australia. Southern Launch’s orbital complex provides direct ascent into sun-synchronous and polar orbits.
The agreement will enable RFA to provide flexible, low-cost, and precise launch services with its RFA ONE from a regional spaceport in the Asia-Pacific region. This three-stage small rocket, with its highly efficient staged combustion engine and orbital stage, can deliver up to 1,350 kg. to a 300 km. polar orbit.
The rocket is 30 meters high and 2 meters wide and has reached important milestones in its development over the past year. The RFA ONE is expected to launch up to fifty times a year in the future, delivering satellites into near-Earth orbit quickly and reliably at a highly competitive price point.
The first engagement between RFA and Southern Launch was at the International Astronautical Congress, Washington, in 2019, and the parties are now very pleased to have finalized and to be signing a launch services agreement at the Global Space and Technology Convention in Singapore.
Jörn Spurmann, Chief Commercial Officer at RFA, said, “Launching from South Australia allows us to offer our launch services in a highly customer-oriented way from a regional spaceport in the Asia-Pacific region. It marks a central milestone in our strategy for a globally distributed launch capability. With various launch sites around the world, we minimize our customers’ logistics and time constraints and lay the infrastructural foundation for a weekly launch cadence. Southern Launch offers a comprehensive and competitive service to launch our rockets. We could not have wished for a better partner.”
Lloyd Damp, Chief Executive Officer of Southern Launch, said, “We are excited to announce this partnership with Rocket Factory Augsburg AG, which will see their launcher RFA ONE launched into space from Southern Launch’s sites in South Australia. This partnership further demonstrates Australia’s world-class space launch capabilities to the international space industry.”
Rocket Factory Augsburg was founded in 2018 with the mission to significantly reduce launch costs in the space industry. The company’s goal is to develop a launch vehicle prototype by the end of 2022 which can launch satellites into low Earth orbits on a weekly basis at unmatched prices. The RFA ONE launch vehicle combines three key competitive advantages: An extremely customer focused service through our orbital stage with precise in-orbit delivery, at a highly competitive price, made possible by our superior staged combustion technology, industrial automation and low-cost structure.