back to article Brit rocketeer Skyrora reckons it'll be orbital in 3 years – that is, if UK government plays ball

With two launches of the SkyLark Nano under its belt, Skyrora aims to go orbital in the coming years – assuming UK Parliament keeps up. The Register had a chat with the Brit rocketeer at its Edinburgh HQ to learn more. The two-metre solid fuel-powered Skylark Nano was launched this month, hitting an altitude of 6km and a speed …

  1. JimmyPage
    Thumb Up

    Surely El Reg (or it's readers) could back this further ?

    How about a pi-in-a-can minisat ?

  2. phuzz Silver badge

    "By 2022 [...] the company plans to send the Skyrora XL into orbit."

    Great, now if they can bump that forward to 2018 then they might stand a chance of breaking into the market!

  3. Marki Mark
    Mushroom

    Arse

    Assuming the UK government pulls its collective finger out.

    So it's doomed then....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Arse

      Maybe the Scottish government can do something, the UK government may not have jurisdiction in 3 years..

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Arse

        Spaceport Cornwall!! Yarrrrrr!!!!!

        1. Ken 16
          Joke

          Re: Arse

          You lot will sabotage the landing guidance and salvage the wrecked parts, won't you?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Arse

      Gov.uk needs something to launch the gps.uk fleet, so they better bloody well pull their fingers out.

      Although what will actually happen is if they ever get some legislation in place to allow launches from UK soil, it'll end up being so loose and woolly that anyone with the money can do it and it'll all be bought up by foreign companies. All in the interest of "fair play" of course, rather than nurturing UK industry.

  4. ArrZarr

    Interesting that they're using Hydrogen Peroxide as an oxidiser in the liquid propellant system, to my knowledge the only orbital launcher to use it was the Black Knight.

    Really hoping that the UK can get to orbit again, then we'll be the only country in the world to develop orbital capabilities twice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The satellite launcher was Black Arrow. Black Knight, which also used HTP oxidiser, was a sounding rocket.

      What I want to know is where Skyrora get its HTP - the last I read, rocket-grade HTP was no longer made by hydrogen peroxide suppliers, and I gather it's non-trivial to turn lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide into what's best for rockets.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        These folk seem to be offering it:

        http://www.peroxychem.com/chemistries/hydrogen-peroxide/products/high-test-hydrogen-peroxide

        Easier to store/handle than LOX, and far less toxic than dinitrogen tetroxide (or red fuming nitric acid). But still something that makes it on to Derek Lowe's "Things I won't work with" blog!

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Facepalm

    While the UK Parliament is a little preoccupied with other matters at present

    Like the summer holidays, perhaps. Country going to hell in a handcart, MPs off to Provence, Tuscany and all points South!

    I wish I was joking!

    1. Ken 16

      Re: While the UK Parliament is a little preoccupied with other matters at present

      It's their last chance before they have to join the long queue at immigration.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "ALL ABOARD THE SKYLARK!!!"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMXKpKfHzz4

    Very apt.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They are playing with teeny tiny rockets that are smaller than my University's rocket club builds, while SpaceX is launching Teslas to Mars - how much of a market is there for tennis ball sized satellites in low earth orbit?

    1. caffeine addict

      They don't have the wealth of a Bond-villain-in-waiting and they're testing stuff that they're intending to scale.

      Sounds like sensible first steps to me.

      The alternative is risking turning their Skyrora into an aurora conveniently placed 100ft off the launch pad.

  8. AceRimmer1980
    Boffin

    What ho, digby

    Is there *anything* that plucky Brits in sheds can't do?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What ho, digby

      Build a competent government?

  9. herman Silver badge

    Hmm, in a few years, launching satellites by rocket will likely be obsolete, as High Altitude Long Endurance planes continue to improve. So this crowd will be just in time to participate in the death of small rocketry.

    1. Ken 16

      I think there will be a mix of routes to orbit for the next few centuries until something more efficient solves the problem definitively.

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