Skyrora vs. Rocket Lab: Quick Overview

7th Feb 2021
Skyrora vs. Rocket Lab: Quick Overview

Skyrora, a British startup currently located in Edinburgh, is working on creating a new, premium launch vehicle that would be the perfect match for small satellites. Before now, 3D printed engines were not accessible; however, this company has successfully tested their own on ground-firings and has discovered the possibilities surrounding it. 

Rocket Lab, on the other hand, has done so much to create engines that would be suitable for certain situations – meaning there are limitations. With the introduction of the 3D-printed engines, Skyrora became a strong competitor for Rocket Lab. 

The 3D-Printed Rocket Engines of Skyrora

As already mentioned, Skyrora has tested the engines on ground level, and one of the many interesting things we discovered about them is: the fuel is produced from plastic waste. This fuel used to power the engine is called Ecosene – an environmentally friendly fuel that would evidently save money and time.


This engine will power the 22-metre Skyrora XL Launch Vehicle that is at its final stage of development. This vehicle, when successfully launched, will be capable of delivering several payloads to different orbits in space up to 310 miles (500 km).


The engine is fired up by the company’s Ecosene fuel; the plastic waste kerosene uses a proprietary process and traditional kerosene RP-1. The essence of both fuels is necessary for effective performance.

Skyrora says it can produce over 600kg of kerosene from 1,000kg of plastic waste. 

Furthermore, Ecosene is excellent in quality as it doesn’t require cryogenic freezing like the fuel used by Rocket Lab. This makes it possible for it to be stored in tanks for extended periods of time.

What Makes a Space Company Unique

Such companies have specific qualities that make them unique; however, Rocket Lab and Skyrora are both top competitors. Currently, Skyrora has the edge over Rocket Lab because of the plastic waste fuel and 3D-printed engines that are superior in performance. In conclusion, Skyrora engine’s potential to fly XL Vehicles in 2022 is a considerable thing to look forward to. 

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