UK’s First Satellite Launch Site to Host the Cutting-Edge Orbex Prime Rocket

Britain made a huge step towards becoming an important player in the space industry, after adopting regulation that allow satellites and rockets to be launched from UK soil, a few months ago. Things are moving quickly, so there’s already a plan in motion for UK’s first satellite launch site.
Scottish company Orbex has developed an innovative rocket that will be hosted at the new Space Hub Sutherland. 6 photos
Photo: Orbex
Orbex Primes RocketOrbex Primes RocketOrbex Primes RocketOrbex Primes RocketSpace Hub Sutherland Project
Earlier this year, UK adopted essential regulations that enable the construction of spaceports in Cornwall, Wales and Scotland, which is the first step for future commercial space launches, including satellites and rockets. This was a historical milestone that enables these types of launches to take place from UK soil, for the first time ever.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise are currently developing what could become the country’s first satellite launch site – Space Hub Sutherland. The project recently made an important step, by adding Jacobs as a support partner for the Space Hub. Dallas-based Jacobs will offer its expertise as the largest service provider for NASA, to take this project to the next level.

On behalf of the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership, Jacobs will research and develop strategic planning for creating an entire space cluster in northern Scotland. An adequate supply chain, infrastructure and local skills are required in order to support the Space Hub Sutherland. The nuclear sector in nearby Dounreay and defense sector in Moray will also be considered as providers for potential assets that could be transferred to the space industry.

As the first vertical launch site that obtained planning permission in the U.K, the Space Hub Sutherland will be the one to host Orbex Prime, the Scottish-manufactured low-carbon fuel rocket. The engineers at Orbex have created an innovative rocket, with main structures made of carbon fiber/graphene composites and a 3D-printed engine. It’s also built with an innovative architecture that makes it more efficient by 20%, reducing 30% of inert mass.

Until a possible launch of the Orbex Prime, the Space Hub Sutherland could begin launching satellites as soon as next year, from the platform on Mhoine Peninsula.
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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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