Hey, Bezos and Branson, Porsche’s readying for launch, too!

People who own vehicles produced by Porsche are already considered to be high flyers in this world, but here’s some news that takes the concept considerably further, and potentially farther. Porsche SE is the holding company organized under German law that’s based in Zuffenhausen, is under financial control of the related Porsche and Piech families, and which oversees global operations of the Volkswagen Group. Today, Porsche SE disclosed that it’s acquiring a low single-digit ownership percentage in Isar Aerospace Technologies GmbH of Munich, a major European player in the world of privately owned and financed space flight, with the goal of developing boosters and orbiters for the launch of satellite payload. According to Porsche SE, the deal is worth about $75 million in U.S. funds.

In Europe, Isar Aerospace is a key player in this emerging industry, much like Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, the Blue Origin effort led by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Tesla founder Elon Musk’s ongoing SpaceX venture. With financial backing from investment players such as Airbus Ventures and HV Capital, Isar Aerospace is angling toward the initial launch of its Spectrum rocket booster next year, aiming more at commercial payloads than the space tourism that Bezos and Branson have famously initiated. So why is Porsche getting involved in this? Because, like many of the vehicles it produces, space travel represents a potentially very large growth market, projected to increase to $35 billion by 2027, with small- and medium-capacity rockets like the Spectrum accounting for at least a third of that market. Consider that Musk’s SpaceX concern recently boosted 88 satellites into orbit via a single launch that took place down U.S. 1 a bit at Cape Canaveral.

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