Scottish Company Skyrora Receives €3 million from the ESA Boost! Programme

14th Apr 2021
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Scottish aerospace company Skyrora receives €3 million funding from the European Space Agency (ESA). The funds are intended to accelerate company innovations, including the development of its three-stage suborbital rocket. To date, Skyrora is one of the most promising aerospace startups in the UK. 

Skyrora Plans for Funds Allocation

Newly acquired funds can significantly accelerate Skyrora’s progress, potentially making it the first UK company to launch satellites from Europe. €3 million secured through the ESA Boost! Programme, will be used to develop crucial technology for the company’s orbital launcher Skyrora XL.

Skyrora XL is a three-stage rocket with a 315kg payload capacity. The rocket is 23 metres high and weighs 56 tonnes. The first test launch is expected in 2022 – most likely from a UK spaceport. If successful, this project will create 170 new job opportunities for the UK aerospace experts.

Skyrora has an established reputation as one of Europe’s leading aerospace innovations developers. The company has already carried out four sounding rocket launches, successfully completed firing tests for its suborbital carrier, and tested the third stage for its new orbital rocket. They already have their own testing and manufacturing facilities in Scotland. 

Skyrora takes inspiration from the UK Black Arrow programme and is determined to make the UK a leading aerospace power state. The UK does have potential in this area, with its strong engineering talent and favourable location for space launches. 

However, Skyrora’s main focus is the environmental sustainability of these launches. The company has developed a proprietary green fuel – Ecosene. The fuel emits less carbon and is produced from plastic waste. By 2030, the company plans to recycle 3,000 tonnes of unrecyclable plastic. 

Next, the company invests in space junk removal technologies, striving to keep our planet’s orbit clean for the upcoming era of space exploration. Its latest development, Space Tug, has already been tested and proven viable for space junk removal. 

Skyrora’s green technologies are pushing the UK space sector forward and position it as a responsible launch provider, doing everything in its power to combat climate change. 

According to Volodymyr Levykin, company CEO and founder, the ESA funding will accelerate Skyrora on its path to becoming the first orbital launch provider in Europe. The first Skyrora XL launch may happen as soon as 2022 – thanks to the ESA funds. The latter will be used to develop a 70kN engine for Skyrora XL rocket and carry out first and second-stage fire tests.

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