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Scottish space firm, Orbex revealed a prototype of the world’s largest 3D printed rocket engine
Plans to develop the UK’s first spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland
The first test flight is planned for 2021
Scottish space firm, Orbex revealed a prototype of the world’s largest 3D printed rocket engine at the opening of its new headquarters and rocket design facility in Forres in the Scottish Highlands.
The company is involved in plans to develop the UK’s first spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland.
The rocket is designed to deliver small satellites into Earth’s orbit and the Orbex Prime is a two-stage rocket that is claimed to be 30% lighter and 20% more efficient than any other vehicle in its category.
It is also the first commercial rocket engine designed to work with bio-propane, a clean-burning, a renewable fuel source that cuts carbon emissions by 90% compared to fossil hydrocarbon fuels. The completed engineering prototype is made from lightweight carbon fibre and aluminium composite and includes the world’s largest 3D printed rocket engine.
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Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of Orbex said:
“Orbex’s new rocket design facility brings Britain one step closer to having its own domestic commercial launch capability and firmly positions the UK as Europe’s frontrunner for those looking to Earth’s orbit and beyond for new opportunities. The new facility and future spaceport operations will help unlock vast economic and societal benefits not just in Scotland but right across the UK.”
The first test flight is planned for 2021 where it will carry out an experimental flight from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. This launch will represent an important first for the UK commercial space industry, demonstrating the UK’s end-to-end launch capability with a UK rocket launching a UK satellite from a UK spaceport.
Interested in reading more about rocket engineering? Click here to read about the Bloodhound project.
Orbex CEO, Chris Larmour added:
“Orbex has been on an incredible journey, largely behind-the-scenes…that is changing today, as we publicly reveal the company’s technical and commercial momentum. Not only do we have a full engineering prototype of the complete Stage 2 of the Prime rocket, but also a growing roster of customers hoping to be among the first to launch satellites from Scotland.”
(Image credit: Orbex)