2024 Update on HyImpulse Tech

🔥 Our 2024 HyImpulse update:

  • 🚀 SR75 launch in Q2 2024 from Southern Launch, Australia
  • EUR 4 million in ESA Boost! grants in Dec 2023 (curious details below)
  • Stable (stagnant?) team-size, now 55 employees (60 in 2023)

Riddle me this – Launching from Australia

The Germans plan a rocket launch. They need a spaceport. There are 2 freshly opened ports in Scandinavia. You have a contract with a third in the UK and a letter of intent with a fourth at home. And then you choose Australia.

Sounds a bit weird, right? Well, that’s the story of HyImpulse’ SR75 launch. In Europe’s defense (hah), HI has had a MoU with Southern Launch dating back to 2021. But it’s not like the Germans want to flee the cold. It seems that launch licenses and administration are just a lot easier down under, so much so that shipping a packed and stacked rocket along the Cape of Good Hope seems like the right thing to do.

HyImpulse Potential Launch Sites 2021

The launch is currently scheduled for May 2024 and we’re still waiting for confirmation of a small livestream (come on, guys!) to watch the European hybrid sounding rocket take off. The SR75 launch would qualify the company’s HyPLOX engine and kick-off full development of the SL1, their three-stage, hybrid launch vehicle.

SR75 on its way to launch site - HyImpulse press release 24.02

ESA handing out checks – for what exactly?

In December, a GBP 3.4 million co-funding from ESA Boost! was awarded to HyImpulse, with another 50% coming from “company sources”. Another EUR 2.5 million came from the German Aerospace Center, DLR. Sounded like great news!

Upon closer inspection, it seems the funding – which HI has only announced briefly on LinkedIn – goes at least partially to a new-found British Joint Venture called CARBON LAUNCH SYSTEMS Ltd. The JV between HyImpulse’s UK-subsidiary and a Greek company called Adamant Composites has the purpose of developing their carbon-fibre reinforced plastic tanks.

The company statutes seem to be drafted in a rush. HI controls 49% vs 51% of the shares and 1 vs. 2 board seats. Uncertainty in the “business plan” and multiple pages on “how to deal with deadlocks” gave this funding a bit of a salty taste. Oh, the joy of JVs.

HyImpulse Shareholder Agreement
HyImpulse Shareholder Agreement for Carbon Launch Systems Ltd.
HyImpulse CLS Statutes for ESA Grants
Joint Venture Statutes for ESA Grants

What’s next: SR75 Launch, SL1 development…growth?

The company is known for its research-heavy and iterative approach, but despite this incremental mindset, the original “2021 maiden launch target” is still quite far away. Over the last year, the company has progressed slowly, presumably due to constrained funds. A continuous search for new candidates did not make up for employees leaving, including some of the SL1 project managers. Two years on, the company has now effectively reduced headcount and is stagnant at 55 employees.

Schwarz Holding, the controlling shareholder, can fund the launcher for years if he wants to. A successful sR75 launch would be a great motivator.

HyImpuilse Technologies Employees
HyImpuilse Technologies Employees

For the fully updated analysis, read here.

All information in this analysis was obtained from public sources and we encourage you to do do your own due diligence. Feel free to contact us for corrections or share our content. Attribution is always welcome.

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