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Skyrora opens rocket engine factory in Cumbernauld

Skyrora Cumbernauld

Space company Skyrora has opened a new facility in Cumbernauld to manufacture rocket engines, creating 100 jobs within the region.

“As a business, we now have a full set of domestic facilities to allow for close control of the quality and rapid development and testing of Skyrora XL ahead of its demo launch,” said Dr Jack James Marlow, head of engineering, Skyrora.

Edinburgh-based Skyrora has already begun building two of its vehicles at Cumbernauld, which will increase to 16 when it begins mass production.

Its Vehicle Assembly Building (pictured below) features 55,000 sq ft divided between the factory floor and offices. Its new site also features a 67,000 sq ft area designed for internal testing.

Skyrora Cumbernauld
Image credit: Skyrora

Volodymyr Levykin, founder and CEO, Skyrora said: “Being able to offer end-to-end domestic capabilities from development, manufacturing, testing, and launch provides the UK with a crucial advantage as it looks to unlock its capabilities and deliver on its potential on the global stage.”

Former SpaceX executive Lee Rosen joined Skyrora last month as its chief operations officer. The company recently successfully tested its 70kN rocket engine.

Skyrora is developing rockets that will carry satellites to space and also wants to provide commercial space travel.

“As we approach the UK’s first commercial space launch this Autumn, Skyrora’s new manufacturing and production facility in Cumbernauld will further enhance the UK’s reputation as Europe’s most attractive destination for launch activities,” said Ian Annett, deputy CEO, UK Space Agency.

In April last year, the firm received £2.5m from the European Space Agency (ESA) for its XL launch vehicle.

The UK’s space sector has been gaining momentum, with Richard Branson’s satellite launch company Virgin Orbit announcing earlier this month that it will have its first international launch from Spaceport Cornwall later this year.