More rocket launches have been planned for SaxaVord – cementing its position at the forefront of the UK space sector.
German firm HyImpulse has announced its intention to carry out a programme of orbital launches from late 2025.
It follows confirmation that Rocket Factory Augsburg looks set to carry out the UK’s first ever vertical satellite launch from the Unst spaceport in quarter two of next year.
HyImpulse has already carried out an an extensive series of engine tests in Shetland over the past three years, including from Scatsta airport.
Although HyImpulse will attempt its maiden sub-orbital launch early next year from Australia, the two companies have signed a letter of intent to conduct two sub-orbital launches from Unst from August 2024 onwards.
That will be followed by the first orbital launches from late 2025 onwards, rising to full commercial operations by 2030.
SaxaVord business development manager Robin Huber said: “HyImpulse Technologies have been an integral part of the SaxaVord journey and a fantastic supporter of our vision
.”They carried out their first tests at Scatsta in Shetland in early 2021, and have been testing and honing their technology both there and in Germany ever since.
“So we are delighted to announce that we have reached an agreement for a program that will culminate in the company having a permanent presence in Unst as it gears up towards full commercial operations.”
HyImpulse co-chief executive Christian Schmierer said: “We are looking forward to working with SaxaVord and expanding our operation in the UK for the work on propulsion development and testing, rocket structures and ground infrastructure in the coming months.”
HyImpulse chief executive Mario Kobald added: “The Shetland Isles and SaxaVord Spaceport are an integral part of HyImpulse’s journey to space.
“We have been in close collaboration with SaxaVord since 2021 and have been doing our flight motors qualification testing also on the islands.
“We are looking forward to carrying out our first orbital rocket launches from SaxaVord Spaceport.”