Orbex applies for UK launch license

Capitalism in space: The British smallsat rocket company Orbex has now submitted its application for a launch license to the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The press release does not mention a launch date, but it does state that ground tests of Orbex’s Prime rocket, designed to launch smallsats, are about to begin.

The Orbex ‘Prime’ rocket is soon to be tested on the Orbex LP1 launch platform at a facility in Kinloss, close to the Orbex headquarters in Forres, where full ‘dress rehearsals’ of launch procedures will take place.

Actual launches will take place at Space Hub Sutherland in Scotland. A previous announcement in 2020 had suggested the first launch would occur in ’22. Whether that date can still be met is unclear, but without doubt Orbex is moving forward towards launch.