AURORA - A Revolutionary Multipurpose Spaceplane & Hypersonic Transport System

Aurora was developed at the German Aerospace Center DLR, based on more than 30 years of German and European spaceplane research. The Spaceplane Aurora combines aircraft and rocket launcher technologies within a unique design. Aurora offers a game-changing economic viability and opens the door for routine low-cost and safe access to space. Flight operation is planned to begin in 2027.


  • Aircraft-like operation from runways worldwide – no launch pad required any more
  • Major launch cost reduction compared to traditional rockets due to reusability & elimination of launch pad
  • Up to 1,000 kg orbital payload
  • Up to 10,000 kg suborbital/hypersonic payload
  • < 24 h mission preparation and turnaround
  • Any orbit inclination can be reached
  • Unique safety level due to mission abort capability with safe payload return
  • Unique sustainability due to 90 to 100 % total system reusability and eco-friendly propellants

Missions and Markets


Aurora features a unique multi-mission capability unprecedented in spaceflight. While traditional small launchers effectively can address only a single market – small satellite launch – Aurora can serve at least 5 different use cases. This enables access to a large customer portfolio and market volume, creating a strong business case unrivaled by traditional small launchers.

Satellite and Orbital Cargo Launch

  • Two-stage-to-orbit with expendable upper-stage
  • Factor 2-3 cost/kg reduction compared to traditional rockets
  • Any orbit inclination can be reached
  • Unprecedented low mission lead and preparation time
  • Unprecedented safety level due to mission abort capability

Suborbital & Hypersonics Research

  • Reproducibility of experiments due to multi-flight capability with rapid turnaround
  • Retrievability of experiments
  • Unprecedented mission and trajectory flexibility

Defense Missions

  • Hypersonic reconnaissance and other defense applications
  • Unique combination of peak flight altitudes (>100 km) and peak flight velocities (Ma >10)
  • Unprecedented robustness & resilience

Ultra-High-Speed Transport

  • Medium range transport for high-value goods
  • Factor 5-10 reduction in flight times

Human Suborbital Spaceflight

  • Optional upgrade of spaceplane for transporting human beings
  • Human research, astronaut training
  • Reproducibility of experiments or training flights due to multi-flight capability within short time
  • Unprecedented mission and trajectory flexibility
  • High safety level due to full mission abort capability