Saturday, 02 July 2022, 03:41:07 am
First full-scale prototype of rocket designed for launching small satellites from Highlands spaceport unveiled
May 13, 2022

The first full-scale prototype of a rocket designed for launching small satellites from a Highlands spaceport has been unveiled.

Forres-based Orbex said its final version of the 19m (62ft) long Prime rocket would be re-useable and powered by a renewable bio-fuel, bio-propane.

The rockets will be launched from Space Hub Sutherland, which could be operational later this year.

The prototype will undergo trials at a testing facility in Kinloss in Moray.

A separate plan to launch satellites from a facility in Shetland has also taken a major step forward.

SaxaVord UK Spaceport and US-based Astra Space have agreed to collaborate on a planned programme of launches from a site on Unst. The spaceport secured planning permission earlier this year.

Astra Space has already completed its first commercial rocket launch from Kodiak in Alaska. Launches from SaxaVord could start next year, subject to agreements and regulatory approvals.