Orbex rocket launch platform makes 80-mile journey to test site

The first rocket launch platform to be built in the UK in over 50 years (Orbex LP1), weighing in excess of 40 tonnes, has made an 80-mile journey from Peterhead to the Orbex test site at Kinloss, located close to our headquarters in Forres. The huge truck complete with Police escort made its way through the amazing Scottish countryside before reaching its final destination.

The new Launch Platform will support the testing of our Prime rocket, a microlauncher that we have designed to transport small satellites weighing around 150kg to low Earth orbit.

Orbex thumb

Although actual launches of the Orbex Prime rocket will not take place from the test site, the Launch Platform is capable of launching an orbital rocket, allowing for full ‘dress rehearsals’ of launch procedures to take place in advance of the first launch from our home spaceport, Space Hub Sutherland.

The Launch Platform offers all the infrastructure and supporting services that will enable a wide variety of integration tests to take place during launch campaign preparation, including the testing of the main propellant tanks and multi-engine hot fire testing under vertical firing conditions. It will also enable the launch operations team to test launch procedures including rollout, strongback erection and fuelling procedures in advance of the first expected launch.

The platform was fabricated by Motive Offshore Group, a leading Scottish company specialising in the design and manufacture of marine and lifting equipment, and will now be installed on site. We look forward to sharing more about Orbex LP1 in due course.