Orbex Secures $24 Million Funding Round for UK Space Launch

Prime launch vehicle (Credit: Orbex)
  • New funding secures roadmap to first launch from Sutherland spaceport in Scotland
  • Orbex is 1st UK space-sector company to win prestigious Horizon 2020 funding

Forres, UK, 10th December 2020 – Orbex, the innovative European space launch company, has secured $24 million in a funding round led by BGF, the UK’s most active investment company, and Octopus Ventures, one of the largest VCs in Europe.

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Lockheed Martin’s Move to Shetland Spaceport Boosts UK’s Plans for Satellite Launches

  • Lockheed Martin to develop UK launch operations from Shetland Space Centre on the island of Unst.
  • Orbex and Highlands and Islands Enterprise continue to advance launch plans from Space Hub Sutherland.

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Hundreds of space jobs will be created in Scotland following the approval of plans for Lockheed Martin to transfer its satellite launch operations to Shetland Space Centre by the UK government.

Shetland Space Centre anticipates that by 2024, the spaceport site could support a total of 605 jobs in Scotland including 140 locally and 210 across the wider Shetland region. A further 150 jobs will also be created through wider manufacturing and support services.

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Orbex Hails Sutherland Spaceport Approval

Prime rocket launch from Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: Orbex/Anders Bøggild)

FORRES, UK (Orbex PR) – The first orbital spaceflight from the United Kingdom has come a step closer following the Highland Council’s decision to give the go-ahead for the Space Hub Sutherland spaceport.

Orbex, the UK-based space launch company, has confirmed that Orbex Prime will be the first vertical launch vehicle to fly into orbit from the Space Hub, which will be constructed near Melness on the northern coast of Scotland. Orbex today confirmed the company has already signed six launch contracts.

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Go-ahead for Space Hub Sutherland Starts Countdown to Launch of Orbex Prime from Scotland

Prime rocket launch from Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: Orbex/Anders Bøggild)
  • Sutherland spaceport granted planning permission
  • Orbex confirms six launch contracts
  • Significant steps on launch system testing
  • New jobs in Moray and Highlands regions

FORRES, UK, 26 June 2020 (Orbex PR) – The first orbital spaceflight from the United Kingdom has come a step closer following the Highland Council’s decision to give the go-ahead for the Space Hub Sutherland spaceport.

Orbex, the UK-based space launch company, has confirmed that Orbex Prime will be the first vertical launch vehicle to fly into orbit from the Space Hub, which will be constructed near Melness on the northern coast of Scotland. Orbex today confirmed the company has already signed six launch contracts.

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TriSept Secures Dedicated Rideshare Mission Aboard Orbex Prime Booster

CHANTILLY, Virginia and FORRES, Scotland, January 14, 2020 (TriSept/Orbex PR) – TriSept Corporation, a leading provider of launch integration, management and brokerage services for commercial and government missions, today announced it has procured a full mission aboard an Orbex Prime launch vehicle set to lift off in the fall of 2022 from the UK’s first spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland.

With its expansion into the UK space market already underway, TriSept is building a multiple spacecraft manifest for a dedicated rideshare mission aboard the reusable Orbex Prime small satellite launcher. TriSept is a long-time go-to launch integration provider in the US space market, enabling the launch of more than 200 satellites on 70 different missions aboard 20 different launch vehicles from 13 launch sites across the globe. TriSept announced last month it will have a full-time presence at the Harwell Space Campus in Oxford, England beginning this year.

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Orbex, Innovative Space Logistics Sign European Space Launch Agreement

Prime rocket launch from Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: Orbex/Anders Bøggild)

Agreement to provide all-European solutions for smallsat launches including purchase of launches from Scottish spaceport on Orbex Prime launcher

LOGAN, Utah, August 7, 2019 (ISL PR) – Innovative Space Logistics B.V. (ISL) and UK-based orbital launch services provider Orbex today signed a wide-ranging Cooperation Agreement at the 33rd Annual Conference on Small Satellites in Logan, Utah. The co-operation will include technical launch services including launch manifest coordination and payload integration. As part of the agreement, ISL will also procure orbital space launches from Orbex for a number of its smallsat customer missions.

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In-Space Selects Orbex For Scottish Launch in 2022

LOGAN, Utah, August 7, 2019 – In-Space Missions Ltd., a provider of military, institutional and commercial space initiatives, announced today at the 33rd Annual Conference on Small Satellites in Logan, Utah, that it will partner with Orbex, a UK-based orbital launch services company, to launch the Faraday-2b satellite from Scotland in 2022.

Faraday-2b will be the largest of In-Space’s commercial Early Service/In-Orbit Demonstrator (IOD) missions to date. Its space-as-a-service Faraday missions provide ultra-low-cost access to space for customers needing to demonstrate new services and technologies with the potential to move into an operational phase.

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Orbex CEO Praises Deal for Scottish Launch Site

FORRES, UK (Orbex PR) — Space Hub Sutherland gets the go-ahead from locals after Melness Crofters Estate (MCE) and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) signed a 75-year lease for the land earmarked for the development.

Below is a reaction from Chris Larmour, CEO of Orbex, the UK-based spaceflight company chosen to launch from the spaceport:

Chris Larmour, CEO of Orbex

“We welcome this very positive step forward.  Orbex’s interactions with the local community in Tongue, Talmine and Melness have been overwhelmingly positive and we’re pleased that this strong, long term agreement is now in place. 

“We look forward to working closely with the local community in the years to come, and we expect to have many locals working directly on the space launch programme as colleagues, ultimately helping the UK’s National Space Programme to begin launching satellites into space. That launch capability will be a first in continental Europe, and will offer a host of benefits, enabling new markets and enlarging the UK’s share of the global space economy.”

Microlaunchers to Grow Europe’s Economy

Five feasibility studies on launch services using microlaunchers in Europe, contracted within ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme in 2018, proposed solutions for economically viable and commercially self-sustaining microlaunch services. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — A flourishing small satellites market is driving demand for new ways to access space. Recent industry feasibility studies backed by ESA for new microlauncher services, are creating new business opportunities.

ESA intends to strengthen European industry by fostering a globally competitive European space sector with increased industry participation in launcher development.

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Orbex Unveils Prime Rocket at New Facility in Scotland

Prime launch vehicle (Credit: Orbex)

Reveals World’s Largest 3-D Printed Rocket Engine and Confirms First Satellites to be Launched from Scotland

Forres, UK, February 7, 2019 (Orbex PR) – Orbex has publicly unveiled its Prime rocket for the first time at the opening of its new headquarters and rocket design facility in Forres in the Scottish Highlands.  Designed to deliver small satellites into Earth’s orbit, the rocket was unveiled at an opening ceremony attended by VIPs from the UK and European space community as well as local community stakeholders.

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Orbex, Elecnor Deimos Form Strategic Partnership for Satellite Launches

FARNBOROUGH, UK, July 17, 2018 (Orbex PR) – Following the announcement of Orbex’s £30 million funding round for the development of an orbital space launch system, Elecnor Deimos and Orbex have announced that the two companies have strengthened their relationship: Elecnor Deimos has acquired a stake in Orbex and both companies have signed a strategic agreement, building on previous collaborations between the two companies when successfully bidding together in UK and international tenders.

Under the terms of the agreement, Orbex will become the preferred supplier of all launch services required to place Elecnor Deimos satellites into orbit. Elecnor Deimos will likewise become the preferred supplier of various critical launch systems required to develop and operate the Orbex launcher system, including the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) system.

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Lockheed Martin and Orbex to Launch UK into New Space Age

Notional image of the UK’s first commercial spaceport at the Sutherland Site in Melness, Scotland, which will conduct the UK’s first vertical, orbital rocket launch in the early 2020s. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

FARNBOROUGH, UK (UKSA PR) — Lockheed Martin and Orbex are investing in space launch operations and bringing innovative new technology to Britain, Business Secretary Greg Clark announced today (Monday 16 July) during the Farnborough International Airshow.

  • Lockheed Martin to establish vertical launch operations in Sutherland, Scotland and develop innovative technologies in Reading, Berkshire with support from two UK Space Agency grants totalling £23.5 million
  • A further £5.5 million will go to British company Orbex to build an innovative new rocket for launch from Sutherland, as part of Government’s modern Industrial Strategy
  • This builds on awards of £2.5m to Highlands and Islands Enterprise to develop a vertical launch spaceport in Sutherland and a £2m development fund for horizontal spaceports such as those planned in Cornwall, Glasgow Prestwick and Snowdonia
  • Government support for launch is the first step towards a potential Space Sector Deal and the development of a national space programme

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Orbex Secures $39.6 Million to Develop Orbital Launch System

Prime rocket launch from Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: Orbex/Anders Bøggild)

Farnborough, UK, July 16, 2018 (Orbex PR) — Orbex has announced that it has secured £30 million ($39.6 million) in public and private funding for the development of orbital space launch systems. Orbex will launch orbital vehicles from the newly-announced UK Vertical Launch spaceport in Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands as part of the main consortium.

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Orbex Wins EC Horizon 2020 Grant

LONDON, 11 July 2017 (Orbex PR) — Orbex, the UK-based developer of launch vehicles and services for small satellites, has won a prestigious European Commission Horizon 2020 SME Instrument award.

The grant was awarded to assist in the development of an innovative space launch vehicle fuel tank architecture developed by Orbex, which reduces the dry mass of launch vehicles by as much as 30% compared to traditional technologies.

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High-Tech Gründerfonds Invests in Orbex

LONDON (Orbex PR) — Germany’s High-Tech Gründerfonds has made its first investment in the space sector with UK-based Orbex. Founded in 2015, Orbex is building an orbital micro-launch vehicle to insert small satellites into low Earth orbit from Europe.

The Orbex launcher exploits a novel, sustainable fuel strategy to create one of the lowest inert mass fractions of any space launch vehicle ever built. All vehicle subsystems are being developed in-house, including rocket engines, avionics, guidance, software and patent-pending structures technologies.

“Our goal is not just to build a space launch vehicle. It’s to build a complete service offering to help businesses, governments and academic projects get their small satellites to orbit – on time, at a reasonable fixed price, from within Europe,” said Chris Larmour, CEO of Orbex.

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