Our technical team in Edinburgh have completed construction of our second small sounding rocket, Skylark Micro, which we have requested permission to launch this summer from Scotland with our license application currently being processed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This vehicle is 4m in height and consists of two stages with solid fuel motors. Skylark Micro is designed to set the UK commercial record for both velocity (Mach 4) and altitude (35 km).
Moreover, Skyrora are currently in the process of constructing a sub-orbital hybrid rocket called SkyHy which will be completed during July 2019. The purpose of this vehicle is to test a critical safety element: the Flight Termination System (FTS) and the launch is expected to be the first time a private company has ever reached ‘space’ from the United Kingdom. This will also be the first commercial test of an FTS in the UK and having received key components from renowned international aerospace suppliers, we are on track to test the system shortly.
In order to make lightweight aerostructures for avionic components mounted inside our rockets, the Skyrora team have successfully designed and produced 3D printed honeycomb plates in our facility in Edinburgh. This is an exciting development in our additive manufacturing capability.
Skyrora have opened a facility to produce high-concentration hydrogen peroxide to be used as oxidiser in our vehicles - the UK used to have this capability in the 1970s when the Black Arrow programme took place, however following the cancellation of the Black Arrow rocket programme, Solvay moved production to Belgium. We are recreating the capability to produce the oxidiser in the UK, and it will be a critical element for the success of future UK launch programmes.