Author Topic: UK launch schedule  (Read 18651 times)

Offline Salo

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UK launch schedule
« on: 11/11/2019 01:16 pm »
http://theindustryanalysis.com/2019/10/18/skyrora-announces-new-engine-test-plant-in-scotland/
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Skyrora, the independent rocket maker, has announced its plans to open a new engine test facility in Scotland. The facility is a significant step towards a full rocket launch that is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2021. It will be dedicated to finishing burn and gimbal tests of its 30kN rocket engine. If the launch is successful, Skyrora will make it into the record books as the first company to have completed an orbital launch from Western Europe. Volodymyr Levykin, CEO and founder, Skyrora, has commented that this is a massive milestone for the company and represents the start of its test program for its larger engines, adding that their team has worked incredibly hard to develop the company’s engine technologies so that it can help make space more accessible to all.

Offline Salo

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #1 on: 11/11/2019 01:17 pm »
https://spacenews.com/orbex-wins-launch-contract-from-in-space-missions/
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Orbex’s Prime small launch vehicle will launch the Faraday-2b satellite in 2022 from the Space Hub Sutherland spaceport to be developed in northern Scotland. The companies did not disclose the terms of the contract.
...
In-Space Missions is the fourth customer for Orbex, after Deimos, Astrocast and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. Chris Larmour, chief executive of Orbex, said in an interview that In-Space Missions will be on the second launch of the Prime, part of a series of three initial demonstration launches that will carry extra instrumentation and larger margins, reducing its payload capacity.

When in full operations, Prime will be able to place 150 kilograms into sun-synchronous orbit. Development of the rocket is proceeding “on plan,” Larmour said, with a first launch planned in late 2021.

Orbex has focused on serving European customers versus the larger, and highly competitive, global market. “We’re very European focused,” he said. “The closeness of the customer and solution is a really strong factor for us.”

The company will gradually ramp up launches once in operation, with the Sutherland launch site ultimately capable of supporting one launch a month. Larmour said Orbex is also a finalist for a proposed Portuguese spaceport in The Azores.

Offline Salo

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #2 on: 11/11/2019 01:18 pm »
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanocallaghan/2019/11/06/virgin-orbit-awarded-95m-to-begin-horizontal-rocket-launches-from-the-uk-in-2021/#7dcaf225519c
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The U.K. has moved a step closer to launching rockets to orbit in the near-future, after the U.K. Space Agency (UKSA) announced $9.5 million (£7.35 million) in funding for Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit company to begin launches by the end of 2021.
The funds are intended to help Virgin Orbit fly its LauncherOne rocket from a new spaceport being developed at Cornwall Airport Newquay.
...
Spaceport Cornwall is one of several U.K. locations being developed for launches to space in the near-future. One of the other frontrunners is a vertical launch site being developed in Sutherland, Scotland, where companies like the U.K.’s Orbex intend to conduct small-satellite launches to polar orbit in the early 2020s.

Offline Salo

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #3 on: 11/11/2019 01:38 pm »
Launched:
Date - Satellite(s) - Rocket - Launch Site (Country) - Time (UTC)

1969.06.28 - Suborbital test - Black Arrow - Woomera (Australia) - 22:58 (Failure)
1970.03.04 - Suborbital test - Black Arrow - Woomera (Australia) - 21:15
1970.09.02 - Orba - Black Arrow - Woomera (Australia) - 00:34 (Failure)
1971.10.28 - Prospero - Black Arrow - Woomera (Australia) - 04:09


Scheduled:
Date - Satellite(s) - Rocket - Launch Site (Country) - Time (UTC)

2021
Late - ARTEMIS 1 - LauncherOne - Cornwall Airport Newquay, Boeing 747 "Cosmic Girl" (US, UK)

2022
Q4 2021  TBD - orbital launch - Skyrora XL - Nothern Scotland (UK, Ukraine)
Late 2021  TBD - TBD - Prime (Orbex) - Sutherland, Scotland
TBD - Faraday-2b - Prime (Orbex) - Sutherland, Scotland
TBD - TBD - Prime (Orbex) - Sutherland, Scotland

Unclear:
NET 2023 - TBD - Skylon - TBD (UK)
TBD - TBD - Prime (Orbex) - Portuguese spaceport, Azores
TBD - TBD - Black Arrow 2 - Space Ship (Horizon Sea Launch)

Changes on February 3rd
Changes on March 22nd
Changes on May 20th
Changes on May 22th
« Last Edit: 05/22/2020 08:04 pm by Salo »

Offline Salo

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #4 on: 02/03/2020 09:25 pm »
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/1224334034668605440
Quote
Peter B. de Selding @pbdes

[email protected]_Ltd, UK launch startup, test fires upper stage of XL rocket - in Scotland. Earlier firing was in Ukraine. This one used 'ecosene' propellant, based on waste plastic (1,000kg plastic makes 600kg kerosene in 24hrs). Hope for inaugural UK flight in 2022. @spacegovuk
« Last Edit: 02/03/2020 09:26 pm by Salo »


Offline Salo

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #6 on: 03/22/2020 06:15 pm »
Not sure how long they have been going but here’s a UK company developing a sea launch Black Arrow 2 small sat launcher



One notable thing is that in their new newsletter they say:

Quote
Since the last newsletter, we have been incredibly fortunate to have negotiated an agreement with a major investor to fully fund the company development activities, up to the completion of the test launch phase of the project, which is anticipated to take between two and three years

https://blackarrow-space.uk/

Quote
BLACK ARROW 2 LAUNCH VEHICLE
The Black Arrow 2 two-stage launch vehicle will be designed and manufactured at our premises in Oxfordshire.

The vehicle will be constructed with leading edge composites, using patented techniques, developed and refined with expertise from successful Formula 1 teams – close neighbours of ours.

Propellant and other pressure tanks within the vehicle will be designed and constructed by our Astrotanks sister Company using advanced manufacturing techniques, initially bonding specialist alloys with our own composites.  Fully composite replacements will appear a short time.

The rocket will be powered by proven engine and propulsion technologies, adapted for use in the Black Arrow 2 launch vehicle, comprising innovative 3D printed parts, and using cryogenic Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and Liquid Oxygen (LOx) propellants, providing the thrust we require to achieve desired orbits.  This is a cost-effective, environmentally friendly system, suited to support reusable systems.  Five engines will provide ~450kN thrust to the First Stage, with added reliability and recovery function, with a single-engine propelling the Upper Stage.

The result will be a system that is more than capable of meeting the orbital requirements of our immediate customers.

The system is designed for scale-up and, after initial demonstration, we will be able to increase our lift capacity and performance to meet more lucrative international markets.

We will establish high thrust test facilities, to support ‘stack’ tests (initially up to 1MN thrust), and system integration/processing facilities, alongside our spaceport centre.

Not clear to me if this is related to the Horizon SAS company from a few years ago?

Offline Salo

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #7 on: 05/20/2020 07:46 pm »

Offline Salo

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #8 on: 08/19/2020 06:00 pm »
https://www.northern-times.co.uk/news/full-approval-for-spaceport-in-north-sutherland-209578/
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Full approval for spaceport in north Sutherland
By Ali Morrison
Published: 10:44, 19 August 2020

Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) intends to create Space Hub Sutherland on land owned by Melness Crofters Estate on the A’ Mhòine peninsula, south of Tongue.

HIE had submitted plans in February this year, including an extensive environmental impact assessment. Following a period of public consultation, these were considered on 26 June by the Highland Council North Planning Applications Committee.

Although the committee was minded to approve the application, the council was required to notify Scottish Ministers, as part of arrangements to ensure government overview of spaceport planning applications.

On 3 August, the Scottish Government announced that ministers did not intend to intervene and the council was free to determine the outcome of HIE’s application, which it has now done.

The decision means that small commercial satellites and launch vehicles designed and manufactured in Scotland could be taking off from Sutherland within the next few years.

Up to 12 launches a year will be permitted from the spaceport, which will include a control centre, 2.5km of road and a launch pad, occupying a total of just over 10 acres of the 740-acre site.

HIE has approved a budget of £17.3m to develop Space Hub Sutherland, including funding from the UK Space Agency and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Planning approval is subject to a set of 34 conditions, including measures to ensure operations are carried out safely and strict protection measures are implemented and monitored to protect the natural environment.

Scottish Government Innovation Minister Ivan McKee said:

“I very much welcome the decision of the Highland Council to approve the planning application for Space Hub Sutherland, which will support around 250 well-paid jobs in the Highlands and Islands, including 61 in Caithness and Sutherland.

“This is the first of Scotland’s spaceport projects to clear the planning process and it represents a significant step forward for both the project and Scotland’s aspiration to offer the full end to end capability for manufacturing and launching small satellites and analysing their data.

“The space sector has a key role to play in the fight against global climate change and this milestone has been achieved through the hard work of the Sutherland team in partnership with the local community, leading experts and public bodies.”

Graham Turnock, CEO, UK Space Agency said:

“Growing our domestic launch capability will bring new jobs and investments to communities in all corners of the UK. Space Hub Sutherland is an integral part of these plans and today’s news strengthens our position as Europe’s leading destination for small satellite launches.

“The UK government is committed to minimising the environmental impact of spaceflight activities and is developing a National Space Strategy which recognises the unique contribution of satellite technology to our understanding of global issues like climate change.”

David Oxley, director of business growth with HIE, also welcomed the council’s decision.

“The UK’s space ambitions present a wonderful opportunity for the Highlands and Islands,” he said.

“A vertical launch spaceport is a key piece of the national jigsaw, along with the design and manufacture of satellites and launch vehicles, that will ensure Scotland can derive maximum economic benefits from this growing and exciting sector.

“Another important aspect is the role that satellites launched from Sutherland will play in gathering data that will help people around the world to understand and address the impacts of climate change.

“In developing our plans, we have always been very mindful of the environmental challenges presented by a project of this kind. Part of our ambition is to create the world’s most low-carbon space centre and the conditions applied to the planning approval will help us make that a reality.

“When all these factors are put together, that makes today’s decision a good result not just for the economy, but for the environment as well.”

Offline Salo

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #9 on: 02/08/2021 10:01 pm »
https://news.lockheedmartin.com/news-releases?item=129013#.YCFPN064HsI.twitter
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Lockheed Martin Selects ABL Space Systems Rocket to Power First UK Vertical Satellite Launch

HARWELL, Oxford, Feb. 8, 2021 – Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has contracted ABL Space Systems, of El Segundo, California, a developer of low-cost launch vehicles and launch systems for the small satellite industry, to supply a rocket and associated launch services for the company’s first UK vertical satellite launch.

The project known as UK Pathfinder Launch is planned to be the first ever vertical small satellite launch from UK soil, from Scotland in 2022. It will also be the first UK commercial launch for U.S.-based ABL Space Systems’ new RS1 rocket.

Nik Smith, Regional Director, Lockheed Martin Space, said: “We are absolutely committed to the success of this programme and the world class capability that ABL Space Systems brings will allow us to build on our long-standing partnership with the UK and strengthen the growth of the UK space sector, aligned to the UK Government’s prosperity and industrial strategy.”

ABL Space Systems’ flexible, integrated GSO launch system, and RS1 rocket, allows for a rapid and cost-effective deployment with outstanding launch performance.

“ABL Space Systems is proud to partner with Lockheed Martin on the UK Pathfinder Launch Program," said Harry O'Hanley, co-Founder and CEO of ABL Space Systems. "Our team was founded to deliver new launch capabilities, on-demand. We're thrilled at the opportunity bring our system to Shetland’s launch site and execute this ground-breaking mission with our partners.”

Lockheed Martin’s UK Pathfinder Launch supports the UK Space Agency’s commercial spaceflight programme – Launch UK. In October, the UK Space Agency confirmed Lockheed Martin’s plans to move its programme to the Shetland Space Centre and in January, planning proposals were submitted for the space launch facility in Unst.

Ian Annett, Deputy CEO, UK Space Agency said: “We want the UK to be the first in Europe to launch small satellites into orbit, attracting innovative businesses from all over the world, accelerating the development of new technologies and creating hundreds of high-skilled jobs across the whole of the UK. Lockheed Martin’s selection of ABL Space Systems for their UK Pathfinder launch brings us one step closer to realising this ambition – putting the UK firmly on the map as Europe’s leading small satellite launch destination.

“In this challenging time, it’s more important than ever that we support technologies that will help create jobs and economic growth, enabling people and businesses across the country to benefit from the commercial opportunities offered by the UK’s growing space sector and the many firms throughout its supply chain.”

The addition of ABL Space Systems as a partner completes Lockheed Martin’s UK Pathfinder Launch programme team. On launch day, ABL Space Systems’ RS1 rocket will lift off from Shetland Space Centre, in Unst, Shetland, the UK's most northerly island. Once in orbit, the rocket will release a small launch orbital manoeuvring vehicle, an agile platform built by MOOG, in Reading, UK, which can carry and deploy up to six 6U CubeSats, optimising orbital placement and timing for each small satellite’s respective missions.

To demonstrate the full value of this new UK space transportation capability, two of the CubeSats deployed will be Lockheed Martin’s own technology demonstration spacecraft.

In 2019, ABL Space Systems announced that it had received a strategic investment from Lockheed Martin Ventures to advance the launch provider’s development and test programme.

About ABL Space Systems
ABL Space Systems was founded in 2017 to develop low-cost launch vehicles and launch systems for the small satellite industry. ABL is headquartered in El Segundo, California, U.S. To learn more, visit: www.ablspacesystems.com

About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 114,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. Please follow @LMNews on Twitter for the latest announcements and news across the corporation.

Offline Salo

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #10 on: 02/09/2021 02:14 pm »
https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/skyrora-completes-full-mission-static-test-of-british-built-xl-rocket
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Skyrora completes ‘full mission’ static test of British-built XL rocket
11 Jan 2021

The upper stage of a British-built orbital rocket has successfully undergone a full static fire test, burning for the full duration of a potential launch.

Edinburgh firm Skyrora confirmed the success today (11 January), following the test on 23 December last year.

Described by the company as a significant milestone for itself and the UK space industry, the test of the upper stage of the orbital-class Skyrora XL involved a fully-integrated set-up of the engine, feed systems, avionics and software. The static fire test in Fife, Scotland, lasted for seven-and-a-half minutes over three firings.

The test verified the engine and fluid systems, flight software and vehicle structure as it performed a full set of engine burns and vehicle manoeuvres that simulated the flight of the upper stage in orbit.

The third stage vehicle “has capabilities way beyond just transporting its payload into orbit,” the company said. The orbital transfer vehicle is designed to perform a number of in-space missions after delivering a payload, including replacement of redundant satellites or even removal of space debris.

Astronaut Tim Peake praised the successful test, saying: “It's fantastic that companies such as Skyrora are persisting in their ambition to make the UK a ‘launch state’. By driving forward and constantly investing in their engineering capabilities, the UK continues to benefit from these impressive milestones achieved. In undertaking a full fire test of their third stage, which fulfils the function of an orbital manoeuvring vehicle capable of delivering satellites into precision orbits, Skyrora is one step closer to launch readiness.”

By carrying out several missions with one launch, Skyrora aims to minimise negative impact on the local launch environment. The vehicle will also use Ecosene, a high-grade kerosene made from plastic waste.

The upper stage is powered by a 3D-printed 3.5kN liquid engine. Orientation control is provided by engine gimballing and cold gas thrusters. The main structure and tanks are made of carbon fibre, making it extremely light and therefore reducing the quantity of fuel required for a mission.

Skyrora CEO Volodymyr Levykin said: “Our goal was always to be mission-ready once all the regulations and permissions were in place, and this development not only brings us closer to that point, but also takes us beyond simply launch readiness. We have been deliberately quiet about this aspect of our Skyrora XL launch vehicle as we had technical challenges to get it to this stage, and we wanted to ensure all tests had a satisfactory outcome, which they now have.”

He added: “It’s important to show that even in these challenging times we are still a nation that continues to innovate and take the lead in some of our most lofty ambitions.

“We aim not only to conduct efficient launches from UK soil in the most environmentally-friendly way, but ensure that each single launch mission has the possibility of conducting the level of work that would have historically taken multiple launches. With this approach, we enter a whole new level of efficiency with full consideration of environmental impact taken into account.”

Offline Salo

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #11 on: 02/09/2021 02:16 pm »
https://www.insider.co.uk/news/scottish-rocket-firms-space-tug-23446967
Quote
Scottish rocket firm's 'space tug' gives space sustainability dream a lift

New UK Government commitment to clearing orbital debris seen as a boost for Edinburgh-based business
Skyrora's rocket engine ground tests taking place using its Ecosene fuel

Scottish rocket development company Skyrora has conducted successful trials of a ‘space tug’ which it hopes can ensure the UK becomes a leader in tackling the issue of space junk.
The Orbit Transfer Vehicle - part of its Skyrora XL rocket due to launch in 2023 - could clear debris, reposition satellites and remove defunct satellites from orbit.
In the week that the UK and UN signed a historical agreement on space sustainability, Edinburgh-based Skyrora has thrown its support behind the initiative.
The UK Science Minister and the UN agreed a new approach to sustainability in space, equipping authorities with the power to act against firms responsible for creating space junk.
New guidelines ensure “the conduct of space activities indefinitely into the future”, an ability now under threat from the growing cloud of space debris.
Published by the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the voluntary rules had come under criticism for their lack of enforcement mechanisms.
Skyrora has developed a new way of launching satellites without damaging the environment, as well as creating an eco-friendly fuel that ensures the UK has the most environmentally friendly space industry in the world.
The company hailed a successful test on its 'reignitable' rocket engine, or space tug, capable of manoeuvring once in orbit.
The test, at its engine development facility in Fife, involved a full mission duration static fire test (450 second burn over three firings) of the upper stage of its orbital-class vehicle, Skyrora XL.
Skyrora now believes this provides for a full mission-ready Orbital Transfer Vehicle that can perform a number of in-space missions once it has delivered its payload.
There are around 34,000 objects above 10cm in size in Earth’s orbit that would be considered space junk - 3,000 of which are redundant satellites.
Moving at around 10km/s, these objects could produce debilitating damage to operational satellites or even the International Space Station.
With the likes of OneWeb and SpaceX planning on sending thousands of satellites up, demand increases for a vehicle that can make multiple stops and functions in space without the need for multiple launches.
Skyrora chief executive Volodymyr Levykin said: “We aim not only to conduct efficient launches from UK soil in the most environmentally friendly way, but ensure that each single launch mission has the possibility of conducting the level of work that would have historically taken multiple launches.”
Last January, the company achieved the first ever eco liquid-fuel rocket engine ground tests take place using its Ecosene fuel, derived from unrecyclable waste plastics that would otherwise be disposed of in landfill.
The fuel itself emits around 45% less greenhouse gases and is particularly suited to cope in the Scottish weather.
Skyrora has also pioneered a Mobile Launch Complex, with all launch infrastructure carried in containers.
« Last Edit: 02/09/2021 02:17 pm by Salo »

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #13 on: 02/09/2021 03:02 pm »
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/02/abl-space-tapped-to-launch-the-first-orbital-rocket-from-britain/
Quote
ABL Space tapped to launch the first orbital rocket from Britain
“The ABL system is relatively easy, quick, and cost-effective to deploy."

Eric Berger - 2/8/2021, 2:00 AM

Hot fire test of integrated second stage for ABL Space System's RS1 rocket in the fall of 2020.
Enlarge / Hot fire test of integrated second stage for ABL Space System's RS1 rocket in the fall of 2020.
ABL Space Systems
118 with 59 posters participating

Lockheed Martin says it has selected United States-based ABL Space Systems to launch the first orbital rocket from the United Kingdom—a mission that is expected to take place from Scotland in 2022.

The launch is part of an agreement between the United Kingdom government and Lockheed to foster a commercial small satellite launch industry in the country. No rockets have ever launched into orbit from UK soil, but now the government is seeking to become both a launch center of Europe and a small satellite manufacturer.

In choosing ABL Space, Lockheed has chosen a company that has not yet launched a rocket, although its RS1 vehicle is expected to make its debut during the second quarter of this year. Lockheed is an investor in the El Segundo, California-based ABL Space and believes it is on track to succeed.

“The ABL system is relatively easy, quick and cost-effective to deploy, with fantastic performance, an important capability for many of our future customers," said Randy DeRosa, Lockheed Martin’s program manager for the company’s UK Pathfinder Launch program.

ABL is developing a ship-and-shoot capability for its RS1 rocket, which is expected to have a lift capacity of 1.2 tons to low-Earth orbit. The goal is to box the rocket into a few cargo containers, ship it to a launch site, assemble it, and send it into orbit. The company's base price for a launch is $12 million.

Although ABL Space has largely operated under the radar during the last three years, it appears to be well capitalized and has hired well. Last summer, for example, ABL revealed that it had received two US Air Force contracts worth $44.5 million and secured $49 million in new private funding. An ABL official said the launch from the United Kingdom is approximately the fifth mission on its current manifest and that ABL hopes to establish a regular launch cadence from Shetland Space Center, allowing it to better serve the European satellite market.

The UK Space Agency announced its domestic launch initiative in July 2018. At the time, it awarded $31 million to Lockheed Martin to develop and demonstrate a vertical launch site in Sutherland, Scotland. In addition, $7 million was granted to a Britain-based company, Orbex, which is developing its own rocket. It was thought then that a launch company chosen by Lockheed, as well as Orbex, would launch from the Sutherland site in the Scottish highlands.
Further Reading
Orbex raises $24 million in new funding, can now scale up for orbital launch

However, last fall, Lockheed said it was moving to another site in Scotland, the Shetland Space Centre in the Shetland Islands, in the northernmost part of the country. In explaining the move, Lockheed said it ended up having different technical requirements for launch than Orbex. British officials approved the move at the time, saying it would be beneficial to have two complementary vertical launch sites in the United Kingdom. (Orbex says it is still targeting a 2022 launch date as well, but this seems questionable.)

Now, Lockheed and ABL are locked in on the Shetland site and preparations for a launch next year. For this first mission, ABL Space Systems’ RS1 rocket will launch a small orbital maneuvering vehicle, built by MOOG, which is capable of carrying and deploying up to six 6U CubeSats. Two of the CubeSats launched by the maneuvering vehicle will be Lockheed Martin technology demonstrators.

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #14 on: 02/09/2021 03:09 pm »
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/orbex-raises-24-million-in-new-funding-can-now-scale-up-for-orbital-launch/
Quote
Orbex raises $24 million in new funding, can now scale up for orbital launch
“We’re very focused on being capital efficient, which is another word for cheap.”

Eric Berger - 12/10/2020, 6:21 PM

The upper stage of the Orbex Prime rocket will have a single engine.
Orbex

United Kingdom-based launch company Orbex says it has raised an additional $24 million in venture capital funding as it continues development of its small satellite launcher. This booster is planned to be similar in size and performance to Rocket Lab's Electron vehicle.

Orbex CEO Chris Larmour said this brings the total amount of money raised by the company to $69 million. It presently has 55 employees, but Larmour said the plan is to expand to around 90 by the middle of 2021 with this new round of funding. This staffing level, he said, should be enough employees to reach orbit with.

"We're very focused on being capital efficient, which is another word for cheap," Larmour said in an interview. "We're raising money as we need it, and not too much, and not too aggressively. This is quite adequate for what we need to do."

Founded in 2016, Orbex is developing its "Prime" rocket to lift as much as 200kg to low-Earth orbit, and it intends to launch this booster from the as-yet undeveloped Sutherland launch site in northern Scotland. The rocket's name was chosen to put the emphasis on the rocket's customers—small satellite operators seeking a dedicated launch into space.

"We were trying to communicate to our customers, who are these CubeSat customers, that they were the prime customer, not the secondary payload," Larmour said. "That's the reason it's called Prime." The company has signed launch contracts with six customers.

Propane as rocket fuel

Larmour said one of the fundamental design problems for a small rocket is that surface-to-area ratios become really punishing, making it difficult to design an efficient and economically viable booster. This drove the company's choice of propellant: biologically derived propane, which remains a liquid even when chilled down to the same temperature as liquid oxygen.

The company's engineers realized they could reduce the mass of tanks and other structures by embedding the propane fuel tank inside the liquid oxygen tank. They've ended up with a co-axial tank design, and Larmour said this decision has shaved 30 percent off the total structural mass of the vehicle. "That's a pretty big advantage when you're launching 150 kilos," he said.

Larmour also said Orbex has a plan to reuse the rocket's first stage, without using parachutes or helicopters like Rocket Lab has done with its Electron vehicle. For now, however, he does not want to talk about this publicly.

The Prime rocket will have six engines on its first stage and one on its second. The first stage engines have a thrust of nearly 8,000 pounds of force, or about 30 percent more than the Rutherford engines that power Electron. Larmour said the company has been testing its engine technology since 2017 and performed hundreds of tests. However, he declined to say when the complete engine might be ready to perform a full-duration test firing.

The company is targeting 2022 for its first launch, but Larmour admitted there may be some wiggle room in that date. "There will always be something that comes along that delays it, so the launch will probably drift from that, but that's the target at the moment," he said.

Orbex is among several private companies racing to develop small launch vehicles in Europe. Asked about this competition, Larmour said he's most closely tracking German companies such as Isar Aerospace, Rocket Factory Augsburg, and HyImpulse; Spanish startup PLD Space; and another British company, Skyrora.

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #15 on: 02/09/2021 03:12 pm »
Launched:
Date - Satellite(s) - Rocket - Launch Site (Country) - Time (UTC)

1969.06.28 - Suborbital test - Black Arrow - Woomera (Australia) - 22:58 (Failure)
1970.03.04 - Suborbital test - Black Arrow - Woomera (Australia) - 21:15
1970.09.02 - Orba - Black Arrow - Woomera (Australia) - 00:34 (Failure)
1971.10.28 - Prospero - Black Arrow - Woomera (Australia) - 04:09

Scheduled:
Date - Satellite(s) - Rocket - Launch Site (Country) - Time (UTC)

2022
Late 2021  June - ARTEMIS 1 - LauncherOne - Cornwall Airport Newquay, Boeing 747 "Cosmic Girl" (US, UK)
Late - TBD - Prime (Orbex) - Sutherland spaceport  SaxaVord Spaceport  (or 2023)
TBD - MOOG - RS1 (ABL Space Systems) - Shetland Space Centre  SaxaVord Spaceport (US, UK)
TBD    2023   - orbital launch - Skyrora XL - Nothern Scotland  SaxaVord Spaceport (UK, Ukraine)

2023
  2022   TBD - Faraday-2b - Prime (Orbex) - Sutherland spaceport
  2022   TBD - TBD - Prime (Orbex) - Sutherland spaceport

Unclear:
NET 2023 - TBD - Skylon - TBD (UK)
TBD - TBD - Prime (Orbex) - Portuguese spaceport, Azores
TBD - TBD - Black Arrow 2 - Space Ship (Horizon Sea Launch)

Shetland Space Centre  SaxaVord Spaceport - Lamba Ness peninsula on Unst, Shetland Islands, Scotland
Sutherland spaceport - A' Mhòine peninsula northwest of Tongue village, Sutherland, Scotland

Changes on February 9th
Changes on October 15th
« Last Edit: 10/15/2021 04:23 pm by Salo »

Offline Salo

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #16 on: 10/15/2021 03:55 pm »
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1448678488970457088
Quote
Jeff Foust @jeff_foust
Janice Starzyk of Virgin Orbit says the first LauncherOne mission from Spaceport Cornwall in the UK is scheduled for June 2022. It’s tied to the Queen’s jubilee, so desire to keep to that schedule.

Offline Salo

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #17 on: 10/15/2021 04:04 pm »
https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/uk-space-race-heats-up-as-skyrora-sets-sights-on-2022-launch
Quote
UK space race heats up as Skyrora sets sights on 2022 launch
12 Oct 2021

The UK space race has heated up today (12 October) after rocket company Skyrora agreed a decade-long deal for multiple launches from the Shetland Island of Unst – including one next year.
The announcement sets up a race between the Edinburgh-headquartered firm and Orbex, another Scottish rocket company aiming for its first launch next year. Whichever project wins will be the first to launch a rocket from UK soil. 
“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 [spaceport] SaxaVord,” said Skyrora founder and CEO Volodymyr Levykin. 
“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.”
The XL rocket launch programme from Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Islands, will gradually speed up throughout the decade. By 2030, Skyrora aims to launch 16 rockets a year. 
Speaking to Professional Engineering earlier this year, Orbex CEO Chris Larmour said the firm already had six launch contracts, with the first planned for late 2022. Launches of the Prime ‘micro-launcher’ from Sutherland spaceport in the Highlands will ramp up “gradually”, he said – one or two in the first couple of years, reaching full ‘cadence’ by 2024 or 2025. 
The two companies are taking some non-conventional approaches to space flight. Orbex will 3D print its engines, for example, while Skyrora hopes its versatile upper stage will enable multi-purpose launches. 
According to a study by Scottish Enterprise last year, income from Scotland's space sector could reach over £2bn by 2030. Data solutions to help combat climate change could double that. The SaxaVord spaceport is expected to create 140 jobs locally, with an additional 70 jobs across Shetland, while Skyrora aims to create over 170 jobs by 2030. 
Skyrora has been testing increasingly large rockets with short high-altitude launches since 2018. Last year, it conducted the first rocket test on UK soil in 50 years, as well as launching its Skylark Micro from Iceland. 
The three-stage Skyrora XL rocket stands over 22m, and can carry up to 315kg to orbit. Last year, the firm completed trials of its third stage, including its orbital transfer vehicle (OTV). Once in orbit, the OTV will be able to refire its engines about 15 times to complete extra tasks – acting as a ‘space tug’, carrying out maintenance, or de-orbiting defunct satellites.
For the proposed 2022 launch, Skyrora plans to fuel the XL with sustainable rocket fuel alternative Ecosene. Made from waste plastic such as polystyrene, the fuel could prevent more than 3,000 tonnes of unrecyclable plastic going to landfill by 2030, just through use on Skyrora flights.
« Last Edit: 10/15/2021 04:06 pm by Salo »

Offline Bean Kenobi

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #18 on: 10/15/2021 05:22 pm »
Scheduled:
Date - Satellite(s) - Rocket - Launch Site (Country) - Time (UTC)

2022
Late - TBD - Prime (Orbex) - Sutherland spaceport  SaxaVord Spaceport  (or 2023)


Shetland Space Centre  SaxaVord Spaceport - Lamba Ness peninsula on Unst, Shetland Islands, Scotland
Sutherland spaceport - A' Mhòine peninsula northwest of Tongue village, Sutherland, Scotland

Changes on February 9th
Changes on October 15th

Quote
https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/uk-space-race-heats-up-as-skyrora-sets-sights-on-2022-launch
Quote
UK space race heats up as Skyrora sets sights on 2022 launch
12 Oct 2021

The UK space race has heated up today (12 October) after rocket company Skyrora agreed a decade-long deal for multiple launches from the Shetland Island of Unst – including one next year.
The announcement sets up a race between the Edinburgh-headquartered firm and Orbex, another Scottish rocket company aiming for its first launch next year. Whichever project wins will be the first to launch a rocket from UK soil. 
“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 [spaceport] SaxaVord,” said Skyrora founder and CEO Volodymyr Levykin. 
“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.”
The XL rocket launch programme from Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Islands, will gradually speed up throughout the decade. By 2030, Skyrora aims to launch 16 rockets a year. 
Speaking to Professional Engineering earlier this year, Orbex CEO Chris Larmour said the firm already had six launch contracts, with the first planned for late 2022. Launches of the Prime ‘micro-launcher’ from Sutherland spaceport in the Highlands will ramp up “gradually”, he said – one or two in the first couple of years, reaching full ‘cadence’ by 2024 or 2025. 
The two companies are taking some non-conventional approaches to space flight. Orbex will 3D print its engines, for example, while Skyrora hopes its versatile upper stage will enable multi-purpose launches. 
According to a study by Scottish Enterprise last year, income from Scotland's space sector could reach over £2bn by 2030. Data solutions to help combat climate change could double that. The SaxaVord spaceport is expected to create 140 jobs locally, with an additional 70 jobs across Shetland, while Skyrora aims to create over 170 jobs by 2030. 
Skyrora has been testing increasingly large rockets with short high-altitude launches since 2018. Last year, it conducted the first rocket test on UK soil in 50 years, as well as launching its Skylark Micro from Iceland. 
The three-stage Skyrora XL rocket stands over 22m, and can carry up to 315kg to orbit. Last year, the firm completed trials of its third stage, including its orbital transfer vehicle (OTV). Once in orbit, the OTV will be able to refire its engines about 15 times to complete extra tasks – acting as a ‘space tug’, carrying out maintenance, or de-orbiting defunct satellites.
For the proposed 2022 launch, Skyrora plans to fuel the XL with sustainable rocket fuel alternative Ecosene. Made from waste plastic such as polystyrene, the fuel could prevent more than 3,000 tonnes of unrecyclable plastic going to landfill by 2030, just through use on Skyrora flights.

... Seems to say Prime will be only based at Sutherland Spaceport, not Saxavord Spaceport.
« Last Edit: 10/15/2021 05:25 pm by Bean Kenobi »

Offline trimeta

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Re: UK launch schedule
« Reply #19 on: 10/15/2021 06:37 pm »
... Seems to say Prime will be only based at Sutherland Spaceport, not Saxavord Spaceport.

Wasn't Orbex involved in funding/development of Space Hub Sutherland? It seems unlikely they'll switch over to SaxaVord Spaceport.

Edit: Here's a press release from them a week ago where they continued to call Sutherland their "home Spaceport."
« Last Edit: 10/15/2021 06:40 pm by trimeta »

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