While humans are naturally earthbound creatures, we need space travel. Our society, as it is, needs the myriad functions and services our satellites provide, and so far, there’s only one way to get them up there. To that end, space scientists and engineers are constantly innovating ways to make rockets not only more efficient but greener.
The prototype of the Orbex rocket has been unveiled at the Sutherland Spaceport in Scotland
Kinder to the earth it leaves
The Orbex Prime rocket will launch from the Sutherland Spaceport in the Scottish Highlands later this year, after undergoing trials at a testing facility in Moray. The plan is for Orbex to launch microsatellites from the Sutherland site. This will be the first rocket launched on UK soil in over 40 years, but that isn’t what makes the Orbex rocket special.
What makes this new Orbex prototype unique is that the rocket will be reusable and powered by renewable biofuel.
“This is a major milestone for Orbex and highlights just how far along our development path we now are,” said Chris Larmour of Orbex. “From the outside, it might look like an ordinary rocket, but on the inside, Prime is unlike anything else.”
The engines of the Orbex Prime rocket were 3D printed and it makes use of low-carbon fuel cells.
All legal and environmental permissions have been given for the Orbex to take off, and later this year, after testing, it will begin its journey as a forerunner of greener space travel and innovation.