Funding boost to put Orbex on Scottish launchpad

The Engineer – Plans by Orbex to launch small satellites from Scotland have received a boost following a $24m funding round led by BGF and Octopus Ventures.

The latest investment puts the Forres headquartered company on course to the first launch from Scotland’s Space Hub Sutherland spaceport.

“Orbex is an impressive UK company which is developing a strongly differentiated and innovative launch solution for the rapidly-growing small satellite market,” saidKeith Barclay, investor at BGF. “In Europe, they are a recognised leader with an experienced team, substantial institutional support, a growing customer list and patented technology. The private space sector remains a key future industry for both Scottish and UK governments.”

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Orbex’s Prime rocket uses bio-propane that is claimed to cut CO2 emissions by 90 per cent compared to kerosene-based rocket fuels. Designed to be recoverable and re-usable, Orbex Prime is intended to leave no debris in the ocean or in orbit around the Earth. The company’s rocket vehicle for low-cost orbital launches is being built at factories in Forres, near Inverness, and Copenhagen in Denmark.