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OTRAG Germany’s Low-Cost Launch Vehicle


“Orbital Transport und Raketen AG,” which translates to “Orbital Transport and Rockets Inc.” in English. OTRAG was a German aerospace company founded by Lutz Kayser in the 1970s. The company aimed to develop low-cost launch vehicles for sending payloads into space.

source.image: Hazegrayart

OTRAG gained attention for its innovative approach to rocket design, focusing on modular construction and the use of multiple small rocket engines. This was intended to reduce costs and increase flexibility.

The company conducted some test launches in the 1970s and 1980s in various locations, including Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), where they had agreements to test and launch their rockets.


However, OTRAG faced political and regulatory challenges, and its activities raised concerns about potential military applications. As a result, the project was met with international scrutiny, and it eventually faced obstacles that led to its decline. The company’s work was largely put on hold, and the ambitious plans to revolutionize space transportation were never fully realized.