Skyrora successfully flight tests 3D printed rocket

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SCOTTISH space company Skyrora has successfully carried out testing on a fully 3D-printed, commercial rocket engine for the first time ever in the UK.

The Edinburgh-based firm used its base in Cornwall to carry out engine checks on its XL rocket, the firm’s main orbital launch vehicle.

The engine boasts stop-start technology, meaning Skyrora’s rocket can deliver satellites to different orbits.

Vladimir Levykin, CEO at Skyrora, said, “It’s always exciting to reach testing stage and even more so for our XL rocket.

“Not only is it our main orbital launch vehicle but this is the first time a commercial, fully 3D-printed bi-liquid rocket engine has been tested in the UK.

“Naturally we’re delighted that the tests have gone so well over both testing days and it’s a testament to the dedicated work of the team that we’ve reached this stage so smoothly.

The engine’s 3D-printed technology allows cooling channels to be embedded into the walls of the combustion chamber. According to Skyrora this  means the engine requires fewer parts. making it more straightforward to assemble,  boosting reliability and cost-effectiveness.

 

More details on the testing and development challenges faced by Skyrora and other companies in aviation’s new space race can be found in the feature article here

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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