Scottish rocket company Skyrora wins European Space Agency contract

Skyrora rocket Image credit: Skyrora

The European Space Agency has awarded Skyrora, Viasat, and CGI a €300,000 (£259,000) contract to demonstrate a telemetry relay system in space.

The joint contract will see Edinburgh-based Skyrora testing telemetry systems with its Skylark L launch vehicle. The tests are aimed at mitigating the problem of losing connection with systems on Earth.

Before the launch of the telemetry system, ground tests will be carried out by Viasat and analysis by CGI.

“With the development of the InRange telemetry system it is much less likely that the challenges around recording and transmitting the readings of launch vehicles will occur,” said Skyrora’s CEO and founder, Volodymyr Levykin.

Levykin said the telemetry system will help save launch providers “millions” and reduce the volume of “space junk”.

Clutter left in orbit is now subject to regulation. The US government recently issued its first fine related to the problem to Dish Network.

The ESA contract is a vote of confidence in Skyrora, a Scottish company building rockets to transport small satellites to orbit. It is aiming to conduct its first launch next year from the SaxaVord rocket base in Unst, Shetland.

Skyrora has already received €3m (£2.6m) in contracts from the European Space Agency for its XL rocket.

Gary Lay, VP of strategic programmes at Viasat, said: “InRange is ideally suited to providing launch operators around the world with greater flexibility and reliability for their launch telemetry, and this connectivity is critical in the rapidly growing launch sector.”

UKTN Podcast: Skyrora founder on building a satellite ‘taxi service’ and supporting Ukraine