RFA to launch from Kourou

Binding term sheet for launches from Diamant launch site signed

The rocket RFA ONE is lifting off the launch pad. On the left a big smoke plume is visible.

Paris, France – June 21, 2023. Launch service provider Rocket Factory Augsburg AG (RFA) has signed a binding term sheet with the French space agency CNES to offer its launch services from the Kourou Space Center (CSG) in French Guiana. RFA will launch from the ELM-Diamant launch complex beginning in 2025.


With access to arguably the European spaceport, launch service provider RFA will be able to offer customers all inclinations from equatorial to polar. This expands RFA’s portfolio of orbits available to customers to include low inclination orbits such as GTO, MEO, GEO, lunar and even interplanetary mission profiles. As a result, even more flexible and precise servicing of all types of missions for Earth observation, connectivity, or even entire constellations are possible. As part of CNES’ open tender process to open the Kourou Space Center (CSG) to commercial launch service providers, RFA ONE will launch from CSG starting in 2025.


In addition to the successful completion of the first European upper stage test of its kind in May 2023, RFA also confirms its commercial leadership position by securing the ELM-Diamant launch complex. With this second launch pad from RFA, the company will be able to deliver all mission profiles for ESA and its member states as institutional customers.

“By securing a launch site at the Diamant launch complex, this agreement allows RFA to offer GTO, MEO, GEO and even lunar and interplanetary flight profiles to its customers. By launching from Kourou, the European Spaceport, we can serve ESA and its member states as institutional customers for any mission profile they desire. Together with our successful upper stage hot fire test – a first in Europe – we have once again confirmed our technical and commercial leadership position in Europe,” said Jörn Spurmann, Chief Commercial Officer at RFA. “Just before the final launch of Ariane 5, this collaboration is a clear commitment to the future of European spaceflight from Kourou. We are very proud to launch from the historic Diamant launch site, where European spaceflight began its long and successful history. We look forward to continuing it.”

“CNES is proud to sign this agreement with RFA, which confirms RFA’s decision to launch from the ELM Diamond site at CSG’s European Spaceport,” said Dr. Paolo Baiocco, senior project manager for micro-mini launchers at CNES. “We look forward to working with RFA to further develop launch activities in Kourou. This is an important step for European spaceflight.”


Until now, the launch pad in Kourou has only been used by CNES for its Diamant rocket in the 1970s. Now the launch complex is to be given a new purpose, in the tradition of opening access to space through innovative and groundbreaking ventures. As such, RFA is one of the first NewSpace companies to be given the opportunity to use it. The new launch pad will be upgraded and equipped in the coming years with the aim of being used for launches from 2025.

About Rocket Factory

Rocket Factory Augsburg was founded in 2018 with the vision to enable data generating business models in space to better monitor, protect and connect our planet Earth. Against this background, the company’s goal is to offer launch services of up to 1.300kg into low Earth orbits and beyond on a weekly basis at highly competitive prices. With this, RFA wants to democratize access to space and reduce the launch costs in the space industry. The RFA ONE launch service combines three key competitive advantages: A customer focused service with precise in-orbit delivery and a high degree of mission flexibility through its Redshift OTV; at a highly competitive price; made possible by superior staged combustion technology, low-cost stainless-steel structures and usage of industrial components.

Media Contact RFA:

Mr. Jonas Kellner

Telefon +49 821 999576-21

Email: jonas.kellner@rfa.space

Rocket Factory Augsburg AG

Berliner Allee 65

86153 Augsburg


Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Jean-Jacques Dordain

Board of Directors: Stefan Tweraser, Stefan Brieschenk, Jörn Spurmann

Seat of the company: Augsburg

Registry Court: AG Augsburg, HRB 34251

USt-ID/Tax-ID: DE319402838


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