UK rocket company Orbex to hire 50 staff over next six months


UK-based rocket launch company Orbex needs to hire an additional 50 members of staff over the next six months as it ramps up for the first vertical rocket launch from UK soil, which is planned to take place in the coming months.

Many of the new roles will support the integrated testing of the complete rocket at the Orbex LP1 launch platform test facility at Kinloss, Scotland, where the company runs  full “dress rehearsals” of rocket launches.

The new roles will also strengthen existing teams responsible for key areas of development of the rocket, including propulsion, structures, avionics, CNC machining and embedded software. Other recruitment areas will facilitate communications between ground staff and the rocket in flight, covering fields such as GNC (guidance, navigation and control) systems, sensors, data capture, ground segment software, and radio engineering.

Fifteen of the new roles are non-technical positions, offering an opportunity for people to train or re-skill for a career in the UK and European space sector. These positions require no past experience of the space or aerospace industry and cover areas such as logistics, finance and procurement.

Prime is a micro-launcher rocket designed to transport small satellites weighing around 150kg to low Earth orbit.

Orbex revealed the rocket in its final form in May, making it the first full orbital micro-launcher to be unveiled in Europe. The Orbex Prime rocket will be the first orbital rocket to be powered by a renewable biofuel, a bio-propane, which the company says will reduce carbon emissions by up to 96%.

Orbex plans to launch Prime from Space Hub Sutherland on the North coast of Scotland, which aims to become the world’s first carbon-neutral spaceport. The first launch is planned for the end of this year or early 2023.

Chris Larmour, CEO of Orbex said, “We have already tripled the size of our team over the last twelve months. And now, the roles we’re recruiting for are the clearest demonstration that we’re in the final countdown to launch from UK soil. There’s no better time to join Orbex – we have an extremely exciting few years ahead of us and we encourage people to find out more about the roles we have on offer.”

Space Hub Sutherland was the first vertical spaceport to receive planning permission in the UK and will be the first European spaceport brought into operation this year. Orbex was founded in 2015 and has been running propulsion tests since 2016.

More information on the job vacancies can be found on Orbex’s website.

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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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