Nascent Scotland-based small launch providers Orbex and Skyrora,have received £8.5 million IN funding under the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Boost! initiative to develop their launch technologies and help bring their rockets to operational status.
Orbex, an orbital launch services company based in Forres near Inverness, has been awarded over £6 million, the largest Boost! award so far, to support development of their bio-propane based Prime launch vehicle which will launch small satellites into orbit from Space Hub Sutherland in 2023.
Skyrora has received £2.5 million to complete the development of their Skyrora XL small launch vehicle. The vehicle is on course to be test-launched in 2022 from an as yet selected UK space launch site.
The UK invested £12 million into the Boost! programme in 2019, one of the largest investments from ESA member states. And hence, under the “just retour” principle the UK’s launch industry receives a major portion of this funding back. The funding will also enable Skyrora and Orbex to benefit from ESA’s pioneering facilities, technical teams and business networks.