Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.
On May 20th 2020, self-proclaimed “designs, manufactures and deploys rockets to clear the way for small satellite manufacturers looking to access Space” company Skyrora of Edinburgh announced that they had completed the UK’s first vertical static fire test of a space rocket for 50 years. Earlier the same month, they built a so-called “mobile launch complex” at the Kildermorie Estate in the Scottish Highlands and completed a full static fire test of their Skylark L rocket on it, all within just 5 days. (The rocket was restrained to the ground to prevent it from taking off; a fire and rescue team were also present to intervene if necessary, although they didn’t need to.)
The last time the UK saw anything on the level of what Skyrora has done was under the Black Arrow project of 1964-1971, which marked the only time to this day that a UK satellite has been launched from a UK launch vehicle. Despite all 4 of the Black Arrow rocket’s launches being done at the RAAF Woomera Range Complex of South Australia, the rocket was test-fired on the Isle of Wight.
Skyrora boast that their Skylark L rocket is ready to reach circa the Kármán line and can carry a payload of up to 60kg. (The Kármán line is an attempt to define the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space at 100km (62 miles) above mean sea level.) It is powered by a 3D printed engine that runs on a combination of hydrogen peroxide and kerosene, with Skyrora planning to eventually use their own kerosene equivalent fuel made from unrecyclable plastic waste. Skyrora also proclaim that the Skylark XL could be ready to launch from a British spaceport as early as spring 2021, and hope that the maiden flight of their low Earth orbit Skyrora XL rocket will take place by 2023.
3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.
Disclaimer: Featured image of “Astronaut Escape Testing – GPN-2000-001008” is in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that “NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted.”