French micro-launchers: HyPrSpace and Sirius take off first

Who will put the first French micro-launcher into orbit? If the suspense remains intact, two actors have just taken a nice step forward. HyPrSpace and Sirius Space Services won, on Friday, June 3, the call for micro-launch projects launched by the government as part of the France 2030 plan. The two startups were selected, among a dozen entries, by a jury that included the public bank Bpifrance, the CNES and the General Directorate of Companies (DGE). The criteria examined were mainly the technical credibility of the project, the economic equation (launch price, target market) and the level of innovation proposed by the project. The amount of subsidies received is not communicated, but the call for projects provides for support from 400,000 euros to 1.2 million euros in the start-up phase of projects, after 1.2 to 5 million euros for the development phase. and industrialization.

This competition, unprecedented in France, was announced by Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire during his visit to the ArianeGroup website in Vernon (Eure) on December 6, 2021. Bercy’s boss then detailed the roadmap for the French space sector, which will benefit from an envelope of €1.5 billion under the France 2030 plan, half of which should benefit SMEs and start-ups. Bruno Le Maire had announced the launch of a mini-launcher entrusted to ArianeGroup, called MaiaSpace, and the launch of a call for projects to get smaller launchers, called micro-launchers, off the ground. “We will provide funding, technical support and we will guarantee the first orders for these micro-launchers”, promised the minister at the time.

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