. 24/7 Space News .
"Breakthrough" 3D-printed rocket engine tests completed in Fife, Scotland
by Staff Writers
Edinburgh UK (SPX) Feb 04, 2020

The 3.5kN engine tested last week also has the ability to conveniently and reliably restart in orbit (because of the Hydrogen Peroxide system). It is this element that makes it suitable as an orbital maneuvering unit or a space tug. The functionality of an orbital maneuvering unit or space tug could include a range of tasks, from space debris removal to aiding in a moon mission.

The first ever eco liquid-fuel rocket engine ground tests to take place in Scotland have been deemed a huge success - and a major step forward in the UK's ambitions to become a space nation.

Edinburgh-based satellite launch firm Skyrora has completed a week of static horizontal firings conducted in Fife to compare the behaviour of kerosene and eco-fuel.

The test firings allowed Skyrora to assess its innovative 3D-printed 3.5kN LEO engine, which will be used to power the final upper stage of its 22-metre tall XL rocket.

The tests included the use of Skyrora's eco-aviation fuel named 'Ecosene'; a high grade fuel made from waste plastics which aims to minimise the environmental impact of rocket launches.

Skyrora have developed award-winning technology to convert waste plastics that otherwise would be disposed of in landfill or in oceans into the greener, more socially-responsible fuel source - a process which is attracting major interest in the space race sector.

The technology developed by Skyrora means Ecosene will be able to produce 600kg of usable kerosene from 1000kg of certain waste plastics in the space of 24 hours.

The 3.5kN engine tested last week also has the ability to conveniently and reliably restart in orbit (because of the Hydrogen Peroxide system). It is this element that makes it suitable as an orbital maneuvering unit or a space tug. The functionality of an orbital maneuvering unit or space tug could include a range of tasks, from space debris removal to aiding in a moon mission.

Skyrora is aiming to be the first UK-based company to fire a rocket into space from Scotland, which will be used to position a payload of satellites into separate orbits of up to 500 kilometres altitude.

Volodymyr Levykin, chief executive of Skyrora, believes the firm is on track to ensure a homegrown business is able to launch satellites into space from Scotland.

He said: "These tests have been a crucial way for us to demonstrate the real scientific credentials underpinning our work. I must thank our team for their hard work in getting us to this stage and ensuring the tests are delivering exactly what we set out to do.

"In particular, the final day of testing on the Friday was a big day for us in learning more about the nuances of Ecosene - crucial for unlocking the transformative potential it holds for us and the entire space sector."

The first tests on Tuesday and Wednesday were deemed a big success, with 30-second firings using kerosene which enabled Skyrora to capture vital telemetry.

Friday witnessed the first UK tests of its Ecosene fuel, allowing Skyrora to compare its performance and behaviour directly with kerosene RP-1 rocket fuel, with more detailed results to follow.

As well as the fuel emitting around 45% less greenhouse gas, it is particularly suited to cope with the potential weather problems or delays that could affect the proposed Scottish rocket sites, as it does not require cryogenic freezing and can stand in a tank for long periods of time.

Representatives from the European Space Agency attended test firings and Skyrora also welcomed distinguished guests.

Dr Jack-James Marlow, Engineering Manager with Skyrora, oversaw the week's testing and is excited by the potential impact of Ecosene within a rapidly growing sector.

He said: "We are using our upper stage LEO engine to validate a new type of fuel which we have produced.

"This fuel is made from unrecyclable plastic which otherwise would go into a landfill - helping us in our ambitions of revolutionising the UK space industry."

The engine's 3D-printed technology represents a landmark moment in the industry as it allows cooling channels to be embedded into the walls of the combustion chamber, meaning the engine requires fewer parts.

This makes it much more straightforward to assemble, ultimately boosting reliability and cost-effectiveness for Skyrora customers.

The firm aims to complete the inaugural launch of its Skyrora XL vehicle from a British spaceport by 2022.

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Sustainable 3D-printed super magnets
Graz, Austria (SPX) Feb 03, 2020
From wind turbines and electric motors to sensors and magnetic switching systems: permanent magnets are used in many different electrical applications. The production of these magnets usually involves sintering or injection moulding. But due to the increasing miniaturisation of electronics and the more exacting requirements, this places on magnetic components in terms of geometry, these conventional manufacturing methods are frequently coming up short. Additive manufacturing technologies, ho ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Getting around the Solar System

DLR 2020 - research for climate, mobility and the energy transition

New research launching to station aboard Northrop Grumman's 13th Resupply Mission

Voyager 2 engineers working to restore normal operations

Rocket Lab successfully launches U.S. spy satellite

India plans to send 50 satellite launch vehicles into orbit within next 5 years

Elon Musk drops surprise techno track

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches fourth batch of 60 Starlink satellites

Mars' water was mineral-rich and salty

Russian scientists propose manned Base on Martian Moon to control robots remotely on red planet

To infinity and beyond: interstellar lab unveils space-inspired village for future Mars settlement

Nine finalists chosen in Mars 2020 rover naming contest

China to launch more space science satellites

China's space station core module, manned spacecraft arrive at launch site

China to launch Mars probe in July

China's space-tracking vessels back from missions

Space science investment generates income and creates jobs

Northrop Grumman breaks ground for expanded satellite manufacturing facilities in Gilbert, Arizona

US sees record year for private space sector in 2020

Xplore and Nanoracks partner to commercialize deep space

Can wood construction transform cities from carbon source to carbon vault

Sustainable 3D-printed super magnets

"Breakthrough" 3D-printed rocket engine tests completed in Fife, Scotland

Two satellites just avoided a head-on smash. How close did they come to disaster?

To make amino acids, just add electricity

AI could deceive us as much as the human eye does in the search for extraterrestrials

NESSI comes to life at Palomar Observatory

For hottest planet, a major meltdown, study shows

Seeing stars in 3D: The New Horizons Parallax Program

Looking back at a New Horizons New Year's to remember

NASA's Juno navigators enable Jupiter cyclone discovery

The PI's Perspective: What a Year, What a Decade!

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.