Skyrora Launched a New Midlothian Rocket Engine Testing Facility14th Apr 2022
Scottish rocket manufacturer Skyrora opens a new rocket engine testing facility in Midlothian. As one of the most promising UK space startups prepares for its debut launch from home soil, the new facility will add to its rapidly-growing portfolio of manufacturing and testing facilities across the country.
Benefits of new rocket engine testing facility
Skyrora’s new rocket engine testing facility is currently the largest one in the UK, but this is not the only advantage the rocket maker can use. Midlothian is a highly favourable location for Skyrora because most other company facilities are also located in the vicinity. Besides, the rocket engine testing facility will make use of local rainfall in the engine cooling system, which brings about another environmentally sustainable advantage – that, on top of not having to transport engine and launch equipment.
Skyrora plans for the new facility
The favourable location and environmental sustainability will allow Skyrora to concentrate on launch operations and testing its XL engine. The facility itself took only six months to become operational and was partially funded by an ESA grant. The site now occupies 120,000 square feet and is serviced by a team of 20 engineers.
So far, Skyrora has already completed 15 tests at its rocket engine testing facility and plans to perform more tests on a weekly basis. The engine under testing has 70kN thrust and is powered by a proprietary fuel Ecosene. Unlike the standard combination of liquid oxygen and kerosene, this eco-friendly space fuel emits less carbon into the atmosphere, which is perfectly aligned with the UK’s carbon-free initiatives. Once the tests are complete, nine of the engines will be used to power the Skyrora XL rocket.
According to Skyrora CEO Volodymyr Levykin, the new rocket engine testing facility is of utmost importance for securing the UK’s leading position in the global space economy.