UK’s First Rocket Test Facility Unveiled, a $5 Million Cutting-Edge Space Lab

UK is committed to becoming one of the leading space players and getting the first rocket launched off its soil, by next year. After recent government regulations have cleared the first spaceports to be built in the country (in Cornwall, Wales and Scotland), the first gold standard rocket test facility in Britain has been officially unveiled.
NSPTF will use the latest technology for testing propulsion engines. 1 photo
Photo: UK Space Agency
Britain is not wasting any time when it comes to developing its space industry. Science Minister Amanda Solloway has just unveiled the National Space Propulsion Test Facility (NSPTF), one of only 3 in the world today and the country’s first. Funded by the UK Space Agency and located at the Westcott Space Cluster, in Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone, this pioneering testing lab will serve to test next-generation propulsion engines that power small satellites, in space.

This is a huge step for UK’s space strategy, for 2 main reasons. First of all, British companies no longer have to depend on overseas labs for testing bigger engines, which also meant higher costs. Now they’ll be able to do that in the UK, so the process will become more affordable. Secondly, newer and more sustainable types of propellants (hydrogen peroxide and liquid oxygen) will be tested here, leading to an environmental-friendly rocket development.

And it’s not all just for the national space industry. NSPTF is set to become an international hub for spacecraft propulsion development, where customers from all over the world would be able to test their rocket engines.

Nammo UK is the one that designed and built this state-of-the-art rocket test facility, in partnership with the UK Space Agency, the European Space Agency and the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s RAL space facility, where the latest technology will be used to create conditions that are similar to those in space.

With its first spaceports currently under development, and a brand-new spacecraft engine testing facility, Britain looks to be right on schedule for the first rocket launch off its soil, in 2022.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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