Feb 12, 2018 | By Benedict

Edinburgh-based Skyrora, a company with partners in Ukraine, will launch a partially 3D printed suborbital vehicle from the north of Scotland later this year. Skyrora’s rocket engines run on hydrogen peroxide and kerosene.

America, Russia, China, and… Scotland? Yes, the newest contender in the space race is that tiny northern country of the United Kingdom, Scotland, whose very own Skyrora has developed a suborbital launch vehicle that will take off from northern Scotland in the last three months of 2018.

It’s a great achievement for the company, which also operates from Ukraine and which has used 3D printing to develop parts for its spacecraft.

Potential launch locations include Shetland, where the Shetland Space Centre is bidding for a licence from the UK Space Agency. If the company can secure a launch location, its partly 3D printed suborbital launch vehicle could be taking off within the year.

That would be in no small part thanks to additive manufacturing equipment, including an EOS M 400 3D printing system, which has been used to develop certain rocket components.

But despite the futuristic 3D printing tech on show in Skyrora’s lab, the company’s rocket actually channels the spirit of the Black Arrow project of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the UK’s first locally launched satellite, by running on hydrogen peroxide and kerosene.

According to Skyrora, everything is looking positive ahead of the planned launch later this year.

“Things are moving very rapidly at this point,” Skyrora’s business development manager Daniel Smith told SpaceNews. “We’ve already 3D printed various parts of our suborbital test vehicle and are in advanced talks about testing our engines here in Britain. We expect to grow our UK team substantially in Q1 2018, particularly on the manufacturing side of the business.”

The rocket will be able to carry a payload of 150 kg.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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