MaiaSpace accelerates the pace with its reusable mini-launcher

As the fall season arrives, it is time to look back on key milestones reached by MaiaSpace during this past summer.


On July 26, 2023, MaiaSpace teams successfully performed a cryogenic filling test of its full scale Upper Stage qualification model. The test took place at ArianeGroup’s test facilities in Vernon. This second stage has been designed, built and integrated in-house by MaiaSpace in less than a year. More cryogenic filling tests are scheduled in September and the manufacturing of a second prototype of the Upper Stage has started, with hot firing tests targeted in 2024.


In parallel, MaiaSpace has prepared several tests on key sub-systems of its optional kick-stage, “Colibri”. This includes engines, tanks, structures, valves and the attitude control system. Colibri enables an increase of the launcher’s performance and provides additional flexibility for delivering payloads into specific orbits. Combined with a 3.5 meter fairing, Colibri is particularly suited for constellations. First major system ground tests on Colibri are targeted in final quarter of 2023.


“These key milestones add new bricks to the first European reusable and configurable mini-launcher that we are designing, with all main sub-systems already engaged”, explained Yohann Leroy, CEO of MaiaSpace. “This confirms the relevance of our pragmatic approach to leverage key technologies currently in development in Europe, for which we position ourselves as customers, and to help prepare the future family of European launchers”.


MaiaSpace is developing a two-stage mini-launcher able to place 1 500 kg in SSO in expendable version, and 500 kg in SSO in reusable version. It will leverage the Prometheus® engine developed by ArianeGroup on behalf of the European Space Agency, a cost-effective and eco-responsible solution for propulsion, fueled by liquid Bio-Methane and liquid Oxygen. In addition, the design of MaiaSpace’s reusable first stage will be derived from the Themis reusable lower stage demonstrator, also developed by ArianeGroup on behalf of the European Space Agency.


Sixteen months after our creation, MaiaSpace now has 100 employees coming from a diverse professional background and 10 different nationalities. MaiaSpace continues to grow at an incredible pace, targeting a first orbital flight at the end of 2025, and the start of the commercial exploitation in 2026.