News

UK space missions to launch from 2022 as rocket company Skyrora and SaxaVord Spaceport secure landmark deal

football merchandise
#1 Football Merchandise & Souvenirs Store

The first trips from the UK to space are a step closer following an agreement between an Edinburgh-based rocket company and a Shetland spaceport.

Missions are set to start from 2022, with aims for 16 launches a year at the height of the decade-long project in 2030.

Skyrora, the rocket company, wants to blast off from Unst, the northernmost Shetland, from the former Shetland Space Centre – now known as SaxaVord Spaceport.

Their “XL” vehicle is 23m long and weighs 56 tonnes, and is capable of delivering satellites into orbit.

It is hoped the project will create 140 jobs locally and another 70 across Shetland.

Skyrora founder and chief executive, Volodymyr Levykin, said: “We have made no secret of our ambition to be the first company to launch from UK soil so it’s really exciting to agree to this multi-launch deal with SaxaVord.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of space innovation in the UK, deploying our assets and helping to unlock exciting opportunities as part of the new space economy.

“The UK is a world leader in space technology, and this latest move brings us another crucial step closer to offering a significant space service from our own soil.”

Skyrora last year conducted the first full vertical static fire rocket trial in the UK for half a century.

It has also completed tests of its orbital transfer vehicle (OTV), which will be used – among other tasks – to help “de-orbit” defunct satellites which contribute to the growing amount of space debris around the Earth.

The satellites will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Credit: SpaceX
Image:
There are hopes the programme can work with the likes of SpaceX. Pic: SpaceX

The OTV will also be able to carry out maintenance and other tasks in space, which Skyrora hopes will be utilised by companies like SpaceX and OneWeb with their new constellations of satellites.

SaxaVord Spaceport sits near RAF Saxa Vord on Unst, the most northern part of the Shetland archipelago.

Frank Strang, CEO of SaxaVord Spaceport, said: “As we look forward to launches from Unst next year, this is yet another exciting development and we look forward to working with the Skyrora team to help them meet their goal of delivering their XL rocket into orbit.

“The SaxaVord Spaceport location and the can-do attitude of our team mean we are perfectly placed to support Skyrora’s endeavours.”

Skyrora also wants to use rocket fuel called ecosene, made from waste plastics like polystyrene to launch the XL rocket.

Mr Levykin added: “The space industry has a responsibility to commit to sustainability.

Subscribe to Storycast 21 now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Spreaker

“Not just through enabling applications and services, such as through Earth observation, that can help pre-empt and mitigate the impact of climate change, but also by reducing the environmental impact of its own operations.

“With our OTV and ecosene, we are contributing to this new space purpose, helping to tackle both the space junk problem and the impact of traditional fuels.”

football merchandise
#1 Football Merchandise & Souvenirs Store
Liverpool Shop
Chelsea Shop
Manchester City Shop
Arsenal Shop
Tottenham Hotspur Shop
Manchester United Shop
Leicester City Shop
Newcastle United Shop
West Ham United Shop
Barcelona Shop
Real Madrid Shop

Source link

Related Posts