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New Skyrora Rocket Test Facility to Create 170 Jobs in Scotland

Ross Kelly

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Skyrora

The new testing facility will create a range of new technical roles in manufacturing. 

Skyrora has announced it will create more than 170 new jobs in Scotland with the establishment of a new rocket engine test site.

The new testing facility will create a range of technical jobs in manufacturing and operations, with roles ranging from mechanical engineering to electronics for avionics systems.

This latest announcement marks a significant milestone for the Edinburgh-headquartered firm as it hopes to become a key player in the UK’s flourishing commercial space sector.

Long-term, Skyrora said it hopes to test all three engines used on its rocket suite in one singular location. This includes the seven tonne engine for the first and second stage of the Skyrora XL launch vehicle, the 3.5kN engine for the third stage and the three tonne engine for the sub-orbital Skylark L launch vehicle.

Volodymyr Levykin, chief executive at Skyrora, commented: “The opening of our engine test complex represents a giant leap forward for the UK’s ambitions as a space nation and Scotland’s status as a space hub.

“The location and additional jobs will benefit the UK space industry and help the overall economy grow. It will also allow Skyrora’s highly skilled workforce and a young generation of engineers and technicians to be a part of this space revolution.”

In January, Skyrora revealed it had completed up to 25 tests on its 3.5kN upper-stage orbital engine using Ecosene fuel, an equivalent kerosene derived from un-recyclable plastic.

Additionally, before the UK entered lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic the firm also put its three tonne engine through several tests.

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Dr Jack-James Marlow, engineering manager at Skyrora, said: “Our engine test complex is a fantastic opportunity for Skyrora and the UK space industry.

“Scotland is heading towards an unprecedented growth in UK space and our complex is one step closer to achieving this. We are planning to test all our engines, which are fully 3D printed and operate on high-test peroxide at the site.”

Marlow added: “Our recent successful testing of the three-tonne engine is nearly ten times greater in thrust than our last series of engine tests on our LEO engine.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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