Strang Asks For SaxaVord Launch Licence In Three Months

22nd May 2023
Strang Asks For SaxaVord Launch Licence In Three Months

SaxaVord CEO Frank Strang and Launch Operations Manager Dave Ballance were among the guests at this week’s Science, Innovation and Technology Committee meeting in parliament. While there, Strang requested that the process of granting the Civil Aviation Authority licence would be fast tracked. Strang asked that the SaxaVord Launch Licence be granted within the next three months.

SaxaVord launch licence application status

Their application moved to the consultation phase recently with invested parties given the chance to speak about how the licence would affect the local area. SaxaVord has requested that the government make speedy progress and complete the granting of the licence within three months, describing it as “a vital step in our launch progress and the UK’s viability as a space nation.”

“Every country in the world has got a space economy, and they all want to be part of this ‘space race’,” he explained. “We need to work with the regulator to ensure and show the world that we are open for business, because there’s lots of young companies that want to come here.”

Dotting ‘i’s and crossing ‘t’s

Strang is not requesting that the government cut corners in the process. “We need to be regulated and we need to be safe, as things will go wrong,” he continued. But he also went on to stress that if the licence was not granted within three months that it could start to affect the UK’s viability as a space nation. 

The balance between regulating at speed and ensuring adequate safety measures was an issue brought up shortly after the Virgin Orbit LauncherOne failure in January 2023. The failure of the second stage was eventually traced to a filter dislodging under launch stresses.

SaxaVord is still moving at full speed with the plans for a summer launch, and clearly believes that a licence will be granted in enough time to allow 2023 to be the breakthrough year they are expecting. 

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