The integrated stage test – the largest staged in the UK since the 1970s – was undertaken at Discover Space UK at RAF Machrihanish, Scotland. The procedure aimed to demonstrate the operational capability of the Skryrora XL for its intended payload, while confirming that its performance met all design requirements. The rocket’s 70kN liquid engine was allowed to burn for 20 seconds, the company said, during which time it operated within all intended design margins and achieved expected thrust.
With the test completed, Skyrora now has its sights set on a maiden orbital launch next year, taking off from Saxa Vord Space Center in northern Scotland.
The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Col. (USAF, Ret) Lee Rosen said, “The static fire test looks, sounds and feels a lot like a rocket launch, but not lift off!
“This extremely successful test was a definitive demonstration of our mobility and flexibility.
“Our Skyrora team went from a clean tarmac to a full static fire test in just two and a half days, bringing in all the necessary equipment from our Cumbernauld factory and the test site near Gorebridge.”
Skyrora Founder and CEO Volodymyr Levykin said: “With the UK striving to capture a 10% share of the global space market by 2030, the success of the second milestone of Skyrora XL is the final step taken to put Skyrora on the right path to becoming […] the first UK company to perform a vertical launch from UK soil.
“Skyrora now has purpose-built rocket manufacturing and testing facilities in the UK, as well as the largest 3D printer of its kind, which we use to produce rocket engine components.
“We recognize the value that a strong domestic space industry will bring to the UK.
“We will continue to spearhead these efforts to make the UK a player to be reckoned with globally.”
UK Space Agency Commercial Spaceflight Director Matt Archer said: “It is exciting to see Skyrora complete these static fire engine trials, building on the successful opening of its new production at Cumbernauld.
“As we head towards the UK’s first commercial space launches, these achievements showcase our rapidly growing capabilities.”
The new milestone, he added, also highlights “the growing range of expertise that can make the UK a very attractive destination for launch activities in Europe.
“We will continue to support the development of new launch infrastructure and technologies. and I can’t wait to follow the next steps of Skyrora’s journey into orbit.
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