A Look Into The Orbex Space Facility In Scotland

9th Feb 2021
Sutherland Spaceport

Orbex Space is a European private launch startup that is preparing to launch payloads with its own rockets. The UK-based company is manufacturing rockets from its facility in Denmark, with another facility recently opened in Scotland. These rockets will be fuelled by clean-burning and renewable fuel.

About Orbex Space Fuel

From its second stage onwards, the company will use bio-propane as the fuel source; this will significantly reduce the carbon emissions by 90% according to the company, when compared to other fuels used by similar vehicles.

The company has also added reusability into the design of their ‘Prime’ launch vehicle. The engines are being 3D-printed into a singular piece, and the company has collaborated with SLM to partner up and make it work. The company states that the structural reliability of the engine will increase.

Orbex Space uses a carbon fibre winding machine, which is touted to be the largest in Europe and measures about 60-feet long. It is capable of producing rockets with 30% less weight compared to other similar vehicles available in the market today. A significant weight reduction means faster acceleration and better fuel efficiency.

The new facility also has a dedicated autoclave that will be used to bring components that are used in the rockets to the proper temperature for curing and setting. With the help of this equipment, the company states that the elements can wind the main stage fuel tanks within a few hours. Indeed, this will play a big role when it comes to achieving launch vehicle construction efficiency; in turn, this will lead to affordable small satellite launch costs for clients who want to deliver their payloads.

Orbex Space already has several commercial contracts ready to go. Additionally, the company is also looking forward to flying their Prime rocket for the first time around 2021. It has been proposed that the launch will take place at the Sutherland spaceport in Scotland that is currently under development.

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