Traditional space transportation is based on vertically launched expendable rockets. However, reusable rocket-propelled “spaceplanes” for horizontal take-off offer major cost savings as well as fundamental improvements in flexibility and safety. Spaceplanes can operate similar to airplanes from airports and do not require a launch pad with complex and expensive infrastructure. Studies like ESA-FESTIP identified such vehicles as the most economic solution for future spaceflight.

Light spaceplanes for lower payload masses can take-off and land just like aircraft. For heavy spaceplanes, launch support systems can be useful in order to optimize vehicle performance.


Our roadmap targets a light spaceplane by 2027, and a heavy vehicle to be operational in the early 2030s.


In order to validate the technology and accelerate the spaceplane development, POLARIS has been developing a series of scaled flight demonstrators.