back to article Skyrora fires up second stage of XL rocket

Brit rocketeers Skyrora have perched a second stage of its orbital class Skyrora XL atop a stack of containers and performed a successful static fire test of the engine. The test comes two years after the company live-tested a complete Skylark L. Testing of the engines powering the beefier Skylark XL have been ongoing; in May …

  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Do they allow camping?

    Shetlands worth a visit at the best of times but with some heat online...

  2. EvilDrSmith

    But will they take Gromit with them?

    After all, Shaun the Sheep is flying to the moon:

    https://www.space.com/artemis-1-moon-mission-esa-shaun-the-sheep

    1. richardcox13

      Re: But will they take Gromit with them?

      Why would Gromit want such a second class transport: nothing like the comfort of your own armchair in your own rocket. See the documentary A Grand Day Out for full details.

  3. DJO Silver badge

    Interesting choice of name

    Let's hope version 5 of XL doesn't end as a fireball.

    But as long as Steve Zodiac is at the controls, it's bound to be fine.

    1. spireite Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Interesting choice of name

      If it's firing up comms equipment in the future, will it be rename to a Zyxl ?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    What? Why?

    First - go boffins. Have a pint.

    But what I don't understand is why the rocket had to be perched atop of a stack of containers? Was there something special about this stage? Or do they do this for all static tests? I assume it's a funding issue and they or the spaceport are planning to develop a more traditional infrastructure. But it is reminiscent of the old Top Gear jerry rigged attempt to launch a Reliant Robin,

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: What? Why?

      The containers are relatively cheap and can be transported on standard trucks without police escort (assuming they are not above 3m wide, etc) and re-assembled easily. Also you can keep stuff in them!

      Yes it might have a bit of a Heath Robinson look about it but it seems to work well.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: What? Why?

      >But it is reminiscent of the old Top Gear jerry rigged attempt to launch a Reliant Robin

      I don't think a British Space program has the sort of extravagant BBC budget of Top Gear

    3. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: What? Why?

      Re-locatable infrastructure. Chuck the containers on the back of a lorry when the inevitable complaints of NOT IN MY BACK YARD arise.

      In the 60's we were that bothered by NIMBY we sent the Black Arrow rocket program to Woomera, Australia. Fully developed the thing and then cancelled it because reasons (possibly pressure from US suppliers that didn't want competition, and could lever US govt').

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    I don't know.....

    <old-codger>

    You wait for a British ELV manufacturer appear for years and suddenly there's two of them.

    </old-codger>

  6. jollyboyspecial Bronze badge

    Sunlit Uplands?

    According to Bogjob this is all thanks to Brexit. Apparently while the ESA are involved with NASAs next moonshot and potentially the visit to Mars as well the UK is testing rockets on piles of containers at old RAF bases in Scotland

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Sunlit Uplands?

      >in Scotland

      So long as we don't have anymore referendums...

    2. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Sunlit Uplands?

      What does Brexit have to do with the ESA? The ESA is not an EU agency and the UK is still part of the ESA.

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