FIRST EVER ROCKET LAUNCHED FROM THE SHETLANDS

Edinburgh-based Skyrora successfully launched its Skylark Nano rocket from the Scottish island this week.

Reaching an altitude of six kilometers, this marked the third time the 2-meter (6.5ft) projectile took to the skies.

The launch was completed for educational purposes, collecting meteorological data, measuring wind profiles, analysing the vehicles trajectory and providing critical training in support of Skyrora’s future plans.

Skyrora invited local journalists to attend the launch and to be apart of the education and learning process. All social distancing measures were met during the launch days.

Robin Hague, Head of Launch said: “The launch signifies a vital step towards Skyrora’s ambitions to become the UK’s “go-to” satellite launch provider. We’re ecstatic and truly proud. This is a great success for Skylark Nano, and the Skyrora team in general.

Launching from Shetland is very important for us because it’s a potential option for our Skyrora XL orbital commercial launch vehicle. To understand the local launch conditions learning more about the wind profiles in Shetland is critical.

“Skylark Nano’s third successive launch is testament to the engineers who have worked tirelessly to bring to life a reusable rocket that can provide valuable intelligence for the future of the UK space programme.”

It comes after Skyrora successfully completed a full static fire test on their Skylark-L launch vehicle.

Volodymyr Levykin, CEO, said: “With this successful launch from Shetland we are further closing the gap to making the UK a rocket launching nation again.

Skylark Nano’s first launch took place in Ross-shire in summer 2018, with the firm continuing to develop cutting-edge research and technology ahead of its first planned commercial orbital launches. Expanding their company across Scotland will allow them to leverage the highly skilled workforce available with their aim of creating 170 jobs by the end of 2023.

Skyrora is developing launch vehicle technology that builds on previous rocket systems with the aim of reducing the cost of launches thanks to proven technology and advanced engineering methods.

The firm draws on Britain’s launch heritage and aims to build a robust supply chain while creating new employment opportunities to inspire the next generation of talent.