The challenge of this call is to develop a European technologically non-dependent solution for launching light satellites into Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), which will enable dedicated low-cost launches with committed schedule and orbit.
The solution needs to be innovative, implementable, affordable in development and exploitation phases, and commercially viable. Applicants are required to take a holistic approach and produce results that move beyond (but are complementary to) existing solutions. Moreover, the solution will enhance on European access to space and associated technological non-dependence and thereby will provide strategic and competitive advantages for European companies, SMEs, universities, and research organisations.
Launch opportunities in Europe for this type of satellites are currently being standardised through auxiliary payload or rideshare solutions on the European launcher fleet. However, according to market studies, light satellites are expected to lead to a significant increase in launch needs by 2020-2025.
The contest is open to all legal entities (i.e. natural or legal persons, including international organisations) or groups of legal entities established in an EU Member State or in a country associated to Horizon 2020. The prize relates to the development of European critical space infrastructure, which is of strategic importance and security-critical for the Union and its Member States. Therefore:
- participation in this prize contest will be limited to legal entities established in EU Member States and Countries Associated to Horizon 2020;
- the rules of contest:
(a) stipulate that a proposal may be rejected for security reasons;
(b) provide further details on the obligation to develop and deploy the solution in an EU Member State.
1 June 2021