Orbex Statement on 50th Anniversary of Black Arrow Rocket

Orbex Statement on 50th Anniversary of Black Arrow Rocket

Statement from Orbex CEO Chris Larmour on the 50th anniversary of the launch of Britain’s Black Arrow rocket.

“Fifty years ago, ‘Black Arrow’ became the first British-made rocket to successfully deliver a satellite (Prospero) into Earth’s orbit, launching from Woomera in Australia on 28 October 1971. It was a landmark day for the British space industry, even though the programme was already in the process of being wound down.

A lot has changed in the industry since then. Unlike half a century ago, environmental responsibility is now top of the agenda, which is why we have designed the Orbex Prime rocket to be powered by renewable, ultra-low-carbon biofuel. We believe it is the most environmentally friendly rocket ever built, with a launch carbon footprint that is likely to be only a fraction of the fossil-fuel-powered Black Arrow.

Orbex Prime is also designed to be commercially as well as environmentally sustainable. The government’s recently announced UK National Space Strategy is relying on privately-owned companies such as Orbex to deliver many of the Strategy’s objectives, in particular the goal to secure a leading share in Europe’s small satellite launch market. We are helping put a new generation of small satellites into orbit, enabling services such as earth observation and internet connectivity.

We believe the UK space industry is therefore a far more viable proposition today than it was when Black Arrow launched 50 years ago. At Orbex, we like to look to the future, not the past – and we can’t wait to start launching a new era of modern British-made rockets from UK soil very soon.”

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