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Orbex Secures £3.3 Million Funding from UK Space Agency for Ultra-Green Launch Complex

by Anna

UK-based orbital launch services company, Orbex, has received a £3.3 million funding boost from the UK Space Agency as part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ‘Boost!’ initiative. This initiative, within ESA’s Commercial Space Transportation Services and Support program, aims to advance the development of cutting-edge space launch technologies.

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Orbex plans to utilize the funding to establish the Ultra-Green Launch Complex at Sutherland Spaceport on Scotland’s north coast. Positioned as the world’s first carbon-neutral spaceport in construction and operation, the site is set to launch up to 12 orbital rockets annually, with multiple commercial launch contracts already secured with satellite manufacturers.

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Sustainability is a fundamental aspect of Orbex’s approach, extending to the design of its advanced, low-carbon micro-launcher, Orbex Prime. The 19-meter-long rocket is specifically engineered to leave zero debris in orbit, fueled by a renewable form of propane (bio-propane). This choice of fuel ensures a carbon footprint up to 96% lower than traditional satellite launch vehicles powered by fossil fuels.

Orbex CEO Martin Coates expressed gratitude for the funding and emphasized the company’s commitment to delivering environmentally conscious space launch services. Coates stated, “The development of the Ultra-Green Launch Complex at Sutherland Spaceport is a critical step in this journey, and this support will enable us to continue working toward our ultimate goal of making the UK a central hub for European space flight.”

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