UK Company Orbex Reveals Micro-Launcher Rocket

Prime rocket prototype (Credit: Orbex)

KINLOSS, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK Space Agency has welcomed news that the British rocket company Orbex has unveiled the first full-scale prototype of its Prime orbital space rocket.

Orbex’s Prime rocket reaching technical readiness represents a significant achievement that brings together key elements of the ground infrastructure and prototype launch vehicle for the first time and is a major step forward for the company and for the UK launch industry.

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Orbex and FORCE Technology Win ESA Contract to Develop Advanced Rocket Engine Testing

New X-Ray Inspection System will ensure reliability and safety of Orbex rocket engines

FORRES, UK, March 22, 2022 (Orbex PR) – Orbex and FORCE Technology have been awarded a new contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) to further develop an X-Ray Inspection System for rocket engines.

The system will enable the two firms to carry out non-destructive, high-energy X-ray inspections of Orbex’s large-scale 3D-printed rocket engines prior to flight, using advanced technology to eliminate any internal flaws. It will become a key component of the Orbex engine testing regime, reinforcing the reliability and safety credentials of the Orbex ‘Prime’ rocket.

The award is the sixth development contract that Orbex has received from the ESA. It will work closely with FORCE Technology to develop the technology – and will become one of the first launch operators to use it.

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Orbex Applies for Licence to Launch First Rockets from Scotland

Prime rocket launch from Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: Orbex/Anders Bøggild)

FORRES, UK, 3 February 2022 (Orbex PR)  – Orbex has submitted its application to the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for a launch licence, the latest stage on its roadmap to beginning commercial space launches from the UK.

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Orbex Begins Construction of New Rocket Launchpad in the UK

Launch complex (Credit: Orbex)

FORRES, UK, December 9, 2021 (Orbex PR) – Orbex, Europe’s leading private small satellite launch services provider, has today announced it has started construction of its first state-of-the-art Launch Platform, the first orbital space launchpad to be built in the UK for more than half a century.

Orbex has commissioned Motive Offshore Group, a leading Scottish company specialising in the design and manufacture of marine and lifting equipment, to fabricate and install the Launch Platform at a dedicated test site near Kinloss, close to the Orbex headquarters in Forres, Scotland.

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Orbex Set to Launch World’s Most Environmentally Friendly Space Rocket

Prime rocket launch from Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: Orbex/Anders Bøggild)
  • New scientific study confirms Orbex Prime’s carbon footprint up to 96 per cent lower than fossil fuelled alternatives
  • Orbex commits to offsetting all residual carbon emissions from launch operations

FORRES, UK, October 21, 2021 – The carbon footprint of launching the new Orbex Prime space rocket will be up to 96 per cent lower than comparable space launch programmes, a new scientific study has revealed.

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ESA Provides €10.45 Million to Support Orbex & Skyrora Launch Vehicle Development

Skyrora XL lifts off the launch pad. (Credit: Skyrora)

PARIS (ESA PR) — As part of its Boost! programme, ESA has signed two new contracts which support UK-based Orbex and Skyrora in their separate proposals for new commercial launch services for small satellites. These services are set to start in the UK from 2022.

ESA has awarded €7.45 million [£6.42 million/$8.11 million] of co-funding to Orbex and its partners, and €3 million [£2.59 million/$3.55 million] to Skyrora.

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Orbex Secures $24 Million Funding Round for UK Space Launch

Prime launch vehicle (Credit: Orbex)
  • New funding secures roadmap to first launch from Sutherland spaceport in Scotland
  • Orbex is 1st UK space-sector company to win prestigious Horizon 2020 funding

Forres, UK, 10th December 2020 – Orbex, the innovative European space launch company, has secured $24 million in a funding round led by BGF, the UK’s most active investment company, and Octopus Ventures, one of the largest VCs in Europe.

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Orbex Hails Sutherland Spaceport Approval

Prime rocket launch from Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: Orbex/Anders Bøggild)

FORRES, UK (Orbex PR) – The first orbital spaceflight from the United Kingdom has come a step closer following the Highland Council’s decision to give the go-ahead for the Space Hub Sutherland spaceport.

Orbex, the UK-based space launch company, has confirmed that Orbex Prime will be the first vertical launch vehicle to fly into orbit from the Space Hub, which will be constructed near Melness on the northern coast of Scotland. Orbex today confirmed the company has already signed six launch contracts.

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Orbex CEO Praises Deal for Scottish Launch Site

FORRES, UK (Orbex PR) — Space Hub Sutherland gets the go-ahead from locals after Melness Crofters Estate (MCE) and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) signed a 75-year lease for the land earmarked for the development.

Below is a reaction from Chris Larmour, CEO of Orbex, the UK-based spaceflight company chosen to launch from the spaceport:

Chris Larmour, CEO of Orbex

“We welcome this very positive step forward.  Orbex’s interactions with the local community in Tongue, Talmine and Melness have been overwhelmingly positive and we’re pleased that this strong, long term agreement is now in place. 

“We look forward to working closely with the local community in the years to come, and we expect to have many locals working directly on the space launch programme as colleagues, ultimately helping the UK’s National Space Programme to begin launching satellites into space. That launch capability will be a first in continental Europe, and will offer a host of benefits, enabling new markets and enlarging the UK’s share of the global space economy.”