Skyrora Goes Mobile with a Second Stage Hot Fire Test

Skyrora has completed a 20-second hot fire test of its Skyrora XL second stage in Scotland.
Credit: Skyrora

Skyrora has test fired the second stage of its three-stage Skyrora XL rocket. The successful test comes on the heels of the UK-based launch startup opening its new 55,000-square-foot production facility in Cumbernauld, Scotland.

Skyrora XL 101:

  • 22.7m tall and 2.2m wide
  • Capable of launching 315kg payloads
  • Third stage can be swapped out for a space tug for added mission flexibility
  • Powered by Ecosene, which is made from recycled plastic waste

In preparation for its maiden flight in 2023, Skyrora conducted a second-stage hot fire test at the Machrihanish Airbase in Scotland. The company used a containerized test platform that enabled teams to construct a mobile test stand and complete the test within a few days.

“This hugely successful test was a definitive demonstration of our mobility and flexibility,” said Skyrora COO Lee Rosen. “Our Skyrora team went from clean tarmac to a full static fire test in just two and a half, bringing all the necessary equipment from our factory in Cumbernauld and test site near Gorebridge.”

During the test, the 70 kN Skyforce rocket engine was fired for 20 seconds and, according to Skyrora, performed “within design margins and achieved the expected thrust.”

What’s next? The first stage of the Skyrora XL rocket is currently under construction. A hot fire test of the stage is expected to take place in mid-2023, setting up a maiden flight later that year from the SaxaVord Spaceport in northern Scotland.