ESA aims to boost commercial initiatives that offer space transportation services to space, in space, and returning from space.
To achieve this, ESA nurtures industrial entrepreneurship and stimulates growth and competitiveness within the privately led and funded space sector in Europe via Boost! – ESA's Commercial Space Transportation Services and Support programme.
This programme also supports ESA Member States in implementing national space transportation objectives in the field of spaceports, testing facilities and associated services.
The evolving space sector is presenting new and attractive business opportunities. Prospects of generating revenues from space applications is drawing both newcomers and established space companies into new commercial services. Many of these new services involve the deployment of very capable, cost-effective light satellites.
Putting these small payloads into orbit is still a difficult step for space entrepreneurs, even though space transportation services have become much more accessible and affordable.
Microlaunchers, rideshare opportunities and dispenser technologies are set to offer multiple opportunities for transport of commercial payloads to space and in space. This includes dedicated missions at relatively low prices.
Future dedicated space transportation services are expected to further extend such opportunities and new businesses in Europe.
ESA is keen to see European economic operators establish new commercial space transportation solutions.
To facilitate this, Boost! – ESA’s Commercial Space Transportation Services and Support programme will co-fund and assist the pre-commercial development of new European space transportation services ranging from launch opportunities, in-space transport services to return from space capabilities.
The programme consists of two elements, each with its own objective:
- Commercial Space Transportation Services (Element 1) – to provide support that is flexible and tailored to the needs of European economic operators pursuing privately-led developments for commercially viable new space transportation services.
- Support to Participating States (Element 2) in meeting the demand of ESA Member States to provide them with assistance in the implementation of national space transportation objectives in the field of spaceports infrastructure and related services.
The overarching principle for both programme elements is that activities are initiated by incoming proposals from entities residing in Participating States.
Under the Commercial Space Transportation Element 1, European economic operators are invited to submit service proposals and request ESA support. For this purpose, ESA has released an Announcement of Opportunity with a permanent open call for proposals.
Requests for support through Element 2 should be submitted directly to ESA by Participating States only.