05 March 2019 Community news

New British spaceflight company set for launch

Black Arrow to offer a unique service unavailable elsewhere in the world

Black Arrow Space Technologies is a new British company developing spaceflight technologies designed to launch satellites into Low Earth Orbit from the UK. The difference with their approach is in the unique launch system Black Arrow are developing; seaborne rocket launches – commercial rockets launched from ships!

This will enable the UK to offer a unique service unavailable elsewhere in the world, that bypasses many of the regular issues faced by land launches. Initially, the company aims to launch payloads of up to 500 kilograms, thereby serving a growing niche in the space market, currently under-served by the international ‘access to space’ sector.

The satellite industry in the region is growing rapidly, designing and building small satellites for customers around the world. A British launch vehicle has not, however, launched a satellite for fifty years.

Black Arrow Space Technologies aims to correct that. Britain is now at the forefront of a burgeoning space race, with companies like Black Arrow Space Technologies spearheading the way.

The Company is developing a rocket system, fuelled by Liquid Oxygen and Liquified Natural Gas, a cryogenic combination which allows for a low-cost launch system with minimal environmental impact.

Using advanced engineering techniques including 3D printing of engines, secondary structures and associated components, combined with advanced composite construction techniques derived from the best of British Formula 1, Black Arrow is confident that it will be able to provide a unique, low-cost, flexible and highly reliable launch service to support regional and International satellite markets.

In a departure from established practice, Black Arrow is planning to launch from a seaborne spaceport – a “space ship” - which will support launches to take place from locations optimised to achieve the required orbit whilst avoiding flying near or over populated areas, with minimal environmental impact.

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