Small Satellite Payload Competition

On 25 July 2023, the German Space Agency at DLR’s Small Satellite Payload Competition began. The winners will be provided with a zero-cost small satellite platform for their payload, as well as a flight on a European microlauncher. The small satellite payload must have a mission objective and at least one specific application, for example in the fields of Earth observation, communications or technology qualification.

As an alternative to providing a small satellite platform, the small satellite payload may be placed on a larger satellite alongside payloads from other operators. Participation is open to companies and organisations headquartered in the European Union that operate, use or develop small satellite payloads.

Procedure and deadlines for the Small Satellite Payload Competition

The Small Satellite Payload Competition will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase, potential small satellite payloads will be identified. The selection will be made by a committee comprising personnel from the German Space Agency at DLR, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

In the second phase, selected applicants will be given the opportunity to launch their payload on a European microlauncher by 2025 free of charge. The number of small satellite payloads has not been specified in advance. The deadline for applications is 23:59 CEST on 20 August 2023.

The tender documents for the competition can be found in the download section of this page.



Andres Lüdeke

Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
Ger­man Space Agen­cy at DLR
Robotics, dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and AI
Königswinterer Straße 522-524, 53227 Bonn