The Edinburgh-based rocket launch company, Skyrora, have recently announced that a successful launch happened last month in the north of Scotland to test various elements of their technology in readiness for the first commercial launches from UK soil in 2022.
Their Skylark Nano II rocket set off from the Kildermorie Estate, near Alness on the morning of 10th July taking a 6km journey upwards before separating and landing safely within a controlled zone under 1km from the launchpad.
This is the second time the company have successfully performed a test launch from Scotland and we believe these are the first official commercial test launches ever to be conducted from UK soil.
This launch comes only weeks after the company performed a rocket engine test during a flight show in Cornwall, which was watched at a safe distance by hundreds of school kids and members of the public attending the show.
Cornwall is one of a number of locations currently battling it out to be the first UK Spaceport alongside a site in Sutherland, Scotland and two others in North Uist and Shetland, both also in the Scottish Highlands.
The Cornish Spaceport has teamed up with Virgin Orbit for a horizontal launch of rockets from a Boeing 747, whilst the Sutherland site has been selected by a consortium that includes Lockheed Martin and Danish company, Orbex. It is unclear which launchpad Skyrora will use for its inaugural commercial launch, but with its origins in Scotland, it is likely to be one of the 3 Scottish sites.
Wherever Skyrora launch from it is clear that they are demonstrating tangible progress with their publicly demonstrated engine tests and now the test launch in Scotland, all of which will be crucial when it comes to full commercial launches as it demonstrates their hands on launch experience & that their overall capabilities are at very advanced stages. It really does look like Skyrora are in the lead in this particular race to space and we will be watching this company very closely.