Orbex Space Submits Application for Licensing to Launch First Rockets From Scotland18th Feb 2022
Orbex Space submitted an application to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK for a launch licence. The licence grants the company access that would help them launch their first rockets from UK soil. Planned to launch from Scotland, the initial flights mark the entry of Orbex Space into commercial space launches in the UK. Orbex Space has already completed pre-application meetings with the Civil Aviation Authority and has now progressed to the application stage. This makes the company the first UK operator to do this. Applying for the licence is a milestone in a journey that will see Orbex Space get started with rocket launches from Space Hub Sutherland in North Scotland.
CAA to Review Orbex Space Regulatory Requirements
A CAA licence will confirm Orbex Space meets the regulator’s requirements as described in the UK’s Space Industry Act. These regulations were introduced to support UK’s national space strategy. Spaceport Southerland is the first carbon-neutral spaceport in the world and the only one in the UK with full planning permission.
The Orbex Prime rocket will be tested on the LP1 launch platform in Kinloss, near Orbex Space headquarters. The Prime rocket is a micro-launcher designed to transport satellites that weigh about 150kg to reach low Earth orbit. This will become the world’s most environmentally-friendly space rocket. It features a carbon footprint 96% lower than comparable launch programmes.
Orbex Space CEO Speaks on Licence Application
According to Orbex Space CEO, Chris Larmour, the licence application is a step forward for the company. This is among tracks running in parallel that will help the company handle commercial launches from Scotland. The application process is detailed and rigorous, often focusing on safety. To complete the investigation, it took a team two years.
About Orbex Space
Orbex is a UK-based spaceflight company with a base in Scotland. The company runs production and testing facilities in Scotland, and they also have testing facilities in Denmark. Staff members at Orbex Space have professional backgrounds with Ariane, ESA, and NASA.