Rocket launch platform gets police escort to test site

THE first rocket launch platform to be built in the UK in over 50 years has made an 80-mile journey from Peterhead to Kinloss with a police escort.

Weighing in excess of 40 tonnes, the Orbex launch platform will support the testing of the firm’s Prime rocket, a microlauncher that has been designed to transport small satellites weighing around 150kg to low earth orbit.

The launches from the Kinloss site will act as ‘dress rehearsals’ ahead of launch procedures from Space Hub Sutherlands, Obrex’s home spaceport. A ‘wide variety’ of integration tests will be taken place during the test campaign – including trialling the main propellant tanks and multi-engine hot fire testing under vertical firing conditions.

The platform was fabricated by Motive Offshore Group, the Banff firm specialises in the design and manufacture of marine and lifting equipment, and will now be installed on site. We look forward to sharing more about Orbex LP1 in due course.