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Orbex begins construction of launch platform

Capitalism in space: Orbex announced today that it has awarded a contract to a Scottish company to begin the construction of the launch platform it will use with its smallsat Prime rocket.

Orbex has commissioned Motive Offshore Group, a leading Scottish company specialising in the design and manufacture of marine and lifting equipment, to fabricate and install the Launch Platform at a dedicated test site near Kinloss, close to the Orbex headquarters in Forres, Scotland.

The Launch Platform, known as Orbex LP1, is expected to be fully operational by early 2022. … The new Launch Platform will support the testing of Orbex´s Prime rocket, a micro-launcher designed to transport small satellites weighing around 150kg to low Earth orbit. Although actual launches of the Orbex Prime rocket will not take place at the Kinloss site, the Launch Platform will be fully capable of launching an orbital rocket, allowing for full ‘dress rehearsals’ of launch procedures.

This platform is likely similar to the very transportable launch platform used by Astra. The present plan is to do launches from Orbex’s launch facilities at the Sutherland spaceport in Scotland, presently under construction and the first such launch facility being built in the United Kingdom in more than a half century. If designed to be portable, however, Orbex will also be able to ship the Prime rocket to other launch locations, depending on the orbital requirements of each launch.

Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

3 comments

  • Col Beausabre

    Sounds like a semi-submersible oil rig with the drilling gear replaced by a flight deck https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-submersible_platform

  • I am impressed that these companies seem to go from 0 – to – orbit in 2 – 3 years. Rocket science is hard. But, man, these companies seem to be popping up like mushrooms.

  • Edward

    Blair Ivey wrote: “But, man, these companies seem to be popping up like mushrooms.

    Robert has noted in the past that there are 100 or more companies that have said they will do small orbital launch rockets, but only a couple of dozen, including those already flying, are really doing serious work toward launch. I expect a few more to attempt launches, so we should expect news from more mushrooms — er — companies.

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