British company completes 1st rocket test in the UK in 50 years


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Capitalism in space: A British private company has successfully completed the first static fire test of a rocket in Great Britain in a half century.

Skyrora effectively made the UK ready for launching rockets into space after a team successfully built a mobile launch complex and completed a full static fire test with the Skylark L rocket on it – in only five days. Skyrora’s combined achievement also signifies the first vertical static fire test of this magnitude in the UK since the Black Arrow Programme, 50 years ago. The Skylark L rocket could be ready to launch from a British spaceport as early as spring 2021 and the inaugural launch of the low Earth orbital (LEO) Skyrora XL rocket by 2023.

The Skylark L is intended as a suborbital rocket. The XL will the the first orbital rocket. The company’s goal here is to create a rocket with a very inexpensive mobile ground infrastructure, that needs only a concrete pad to launch. Several smallsat American companies have been working towards this goal. The Chinese, using military equipment, have apparently achieved it. They all now have competition from Great Britain.

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