UK rocket firm Skyrora applies for space launch licence


Edinburgh, Scotland-based Skyrora has applied to the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority for a licence that will enable it to launch to start launching rockets into space carrying commercial satellites next year.

The launch operator licence will allow Skyrora to undertake its planned orbital launches in 2023 and is required by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to ensure that operators meet regulatory requirements enacted by the UK’s Space Industry Act 2018 (SIA) and Space Industry Regulations 2021 (SIR). The assessment process for the launch licence takes nine to 18 months.  

Skyrora has recently successfully completed a 70kN rocket engine test, constructed the largest hybrid 3D printer in Europe, opened the largest rocket engine manufacturing facility and opened an engine testing facility in Midlothian, Scotland.

The company is also applying for a licence to launch from Iceland from a mobile spaceport.

Volodymyr Levykin, CEO of Skyrora said, “We are pleased to have reached another milestone in our mission to commence launch operations from British soil. The team has worked diligently for nearly a year to prepare the required documentation and carried out the necessary analysis in order to submit the licence application.

“Safety is paramount and Skyrora will work closely with the Civil Aviation Authority as it reviews our application to ensure the safety and success of future launches from the UK.”

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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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