AMS Spring 2023

3D Printed Smallsats & Rockets: Skyrora to Benefit from UK Funding

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Small space launching companies just got another boost as Skyrora welcomes an announcement for new UK funding commitments to the European Space Agency. This type of funding is new for small launching companies, meaning a UK £374 million per year commitment to ESA for the following five years.

The amount of funding being offered signals a huge increase and will offer better opportunities for space businesses—as well as giving them the potential to access necessary funds for complex research and development. The smaller launch companies will have access to £15 million tagged just for R&D of small launch vehicles.

Skyrora, with facilities in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dnipro, Ukraine, develops launching technology inspired by previous rocket systems, as well as Britain’s past ‘launch heritage.’ They will be able to deliver better alternatives for launching, and as stated in a recent press release sent to 3DPrint.com, it is expected that they will bolster the sector overall, especially in meeting their goals to expand space access for companies manufacturing satellites.

Many of these smaller satellite companies have been restricted due to the few launchers available for sending satellites into orbit. Skyrora is known for using 3D printed parts in smallsats and rockets.

Currently, many satellite manufacturers must pay to tack on their satellites to larger launchers as a ‘secondary payload.’ Being forced into the background with smaller satellites has caused other manufacturers to look for different options, especially as there is a back-log accumulating for smaller companies, along with taking time away from serious scientific issues like recording data and climate change monitoring, as well as other Earth and space studies.

“This is a very welcome development for our growing industry and presents us with a real opportunity,” said Volodymyr Levykin, chief executive officer of Skyrora. “It is a game-changer in terms of how quickly we will be able to move ahead with our ambitious plans.  Back in 2010, the UK Government and the wider space industry agreed an ambitious Space Innovation and Growth Strategy and much of this decade has been spent laying the groundwork.

“Our vision is to make the UK a world leader in the growing space sector, unlocking the advantages of increased access to space for all. Now we will press on and ensure that the world-changing benefits of space are realized here on earth.”

The space industry and 3D printing technology are heavily linked, beginning with a multitude of NASA projects from launching a biofabrication facility to 3D printing robots, along with many other space collaborations, production of satellites, and aerospace components.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: Skyrora]

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