Northern Germany to get rocket launch platform?

Talks on building launch platform for satellites in North Sea underway
30 December 2020

The Federation of German Industries (BDI) has submitted a concept on an offshore launch platform for rockets in the North Sea to the Ministry of Economics. The mobile platform for small launchers would send satellites into space.  The aerospace industry is pivotal to north Germany’s future as a business location, according to a study by BDI and the North German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK Nord). Aviation is a forward-looking industry that combines many cutting-edge technologies.

North German spaceport conceivable

"Aerospace is one of the major drivers of technology in Germany and of enormous strategic importance. A German launch site for satellites would enable participation in this future market and back northern Germany as a location by boosting innovation and growth," said Janina Marahrens-Hashagen, Chairwoman of IHK Nord. Apart from building a rocket launch platform in the North Sea, the IHK Nord has also backed an initiative eyeing a north German spaceport. "Both initiatives complement each other, are technically feasible and make strategic and economic sense," said Marahrens-Hashagen. 

Participation in space market 

Around 10,000 satellites will be launched into space worldwide by 2028 and the trend is rising, according to BDI. A large proportion of those are small satellites that could be launched from the planned north German platform. IHK Nord has come out in favour of northern Germany as the seat of a satellite launch platform. Space travel would offer the local economy industrial and innovation opportunities and raise the international image of north Germany. The Rostock-Laage airport is suitable for a timely start of rocket launches using the air-launch method, a feasibility study by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) has found.