Quarter 3, 2021
A Letter from our CEO
2021 Thus Far: Back to business for our Third Quarter
Skyrora have been working hard this third quarter, some of our developments have included leading the charge in the fight against the ever-growing space debris emergency. Our third quarter has also seen the phased return of our business team back into our Edinburgh HQ, an emotional and long-awaited reunion which has already heralded some note-worthy moments including the addition of four new business team employees to the Skyrora team.Volodymyr Levykin, CEO Skyrora Limited
These last three months have presented promising and optimistic developments from across the company which have included: the partnership and signing of an memorandum of understanding with the German Offshore Spaceport Alliance (GOSA), calling for the industry to aid us in deorbiting Black Arrow’s Prospero satellite, furthering our plans for a 2022 rocket launch schedule and continuing our commitment to environmental sustainability across the company.
As new and exciting milestones appear on our horizon, we find ourselves looking forward to the new opportunities that they will bring and how these will contribute towards the ever-growing, revolutionary industry we find ourselves part of. Like many others, Skyrora want to see the UK return to space by 2023 with our aim being firmly set on leading those efforts. We are confident that this is accomplishable through the hard work and assiduousness of our incredible engineering and business teams. Their dedication and genuine enthusiasm for the industry inches the achievable possibility of returning the UK to space ever closer every single day.
Earlier in the quarter, Skyrora led a conference at the Space Comm Expo in Farnborough issuing a call to the UK space industry to come together and safely de-orbit the historic Prospero satellite. This mission will both encourage discussions around the use of Space Tug to help tackle the space ‘junk’ issue whilst also aiming to foster STEM opportunities and inspire future generations to become involved in eco-consciousness and space sustainability.
With the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) being hosted in Glasgow in two months’ time the Skyrora team are working hard to ensure our path to optimal operational sustainability continues and remains as a core focus across the company. Our business team are currently continuing to implement an environmental action plan to ensure that our Edinburgh HQ continues towards achieving the lowest environmental impact as possibly achievable.
As we ready ourselves for the darker autumn and winter months, we are excited to see the Skyrora team continuing to grow as we push forward with finalising future Skyrora launch schedules, conference appearances and milestone events. We look forward to bringing you along with us.
Skyrora Commits Itself to ‘Finding Prospero’ Mission Ahead of Satellite’s 50th Anniversary
Last quarter we demonstrated Skyrora’s commitment towards being an eco-conscious company. Hosting a conference at Space Comm Expo exhibition in Farnborough, Skyrora called upon the UK’s space industry to support our efforts to find and deorbit Prospero: Britain’s first satellite launched successfully by a British rocket under the Black Arrow programme. Skyrora CEO Volodymyr Levykin was joined by ESA Astronaut Major Tim Peake, Black Arrow Engineer Terry Brooke and Senior Advisors Rt Hon Lord David Willetts, and Joanne Wheeler in issuing the call to government agencies, space companies, and academia to work with Skyrora to develop a technical plan to de-orbit the now defunct Prospero.
We committed Skyrora’s Space Tug orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) to spearhead the de-orbiting mission; thus, demonstrating the fundamental core values of Skyrora as we look towards clearing the skies above to avoid the potentially destructive and devastating Keppler Syndrome. Originally, Prospero was used to study how telecommunications were affected by space conditions; however, after 50 years it is no longer functional having sent its final signal in 2004. A green-lit ‘Finding Prospero’ mission would mark a significant step towards the full operational deployment of our OTV and Skyrora’s opportunity to add towards the efforts of tackling the ever-growing problem of space debris which Prospero is now a part of.
With Prospero’s 50th anniversary being celebrated next month it is more significant than ever to respectively de-orbit and recover this piece of UK space history to help educate and inspire potential future space industry generations. As the UK space industry grows Skyrora remains committed in taking responsibility for what we launch into orbit and solidifying our commitment to the sustainable use of outer space.
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Skyrora Makes Ties with German Offshore Spaceport Alliance (GOSA)
Earlier this September, Skyrora were honoured to be able to support Germany’s new offshore Spaceport initiative. Skyrora’s signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) indicates an important new step for both the company and UK space sector.
Having already launched our German subsidiary and operations this spring, the development and new partnership with German Offshore Spaceport Alliance (GOSA) mark yet another significant step towards wide-ranging commercial launches. This moment also hails considerable potential for technical, strategic, and educational collaborations with organisations such as the University of Paderborn and BST which will help evolve and develop Skyrora’s many initiatives ranging from launches to STEM education programmes.
With our Skylark L vehicle and mobile launch infrastructure ready for launch, Skyrora is perfectly suited for the Offshore Spaceport. With our future sights sets on the Skyrora XL orbital launch vehicle, this new partnership represents an exciting moment for future Skyrora missions.
The MOU signing event was given the full support of Minister Altmaier and the other launch companies in attendance with us. This new UK-German alliance shows the excitement growing around Germany’s quickly developing space sector. We hope that Skyrora’s added momentum can help support the near-term activities and be part of GOSA’s earliest launches.
Skyrora Focuses Environmental Efforts with Sights On Upcoming COP26
The Annual Conference of Parties (COP26) will take place in Glasgow this year from 31 October to 12 November. This event represents the 26th year that governments, NGO’s, trade unions, businesses, and relevant stakeholders are coming together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the world must take the opportunity to build our environment back greener and better.
COP26 and its associated events create a significant opportunity for Skyrora to demonstrate a dedication to The Paris Agreement by supporting the COP26 Countdown Campaign and highlighting the company’s responsible space practices on the company’s social media platforms. Company practices that will be emphasized include the implementation of our mobile launch complex and Ecosene fuel, as well as the development of the Skyrora Space Tug to deorbit detrimental space debris.
Welcoming Astro Agency’s ‘Space Bar’ into Our Edinburgh HQ
As the world tentatively begins to reopen for business, Skyrora was given the opportunity to host Astro Agency’s 42nd Space Bar event as a hybrid in-person/online event. Inviting local members of the space industry to our Edinburgh HQ we were able to safely enjoy Dallas Campbell’s and Suzie Imber’s hosting live from our boardroom.
The event was attended by over 60 participants (some in person and a majority still online) and gave Skyrora staff a chance to catch up with old friends and colleagues whilst enjoying a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy themed quiz as well as discussions from author Alastair Reynolds and Professor Chris Welch from the International Space University.
We’d like to extend our thanks to AstroAgency as well as Dallas and Suzie for allowing us to be their hosts for an evening. Space Bar is still ongoing and is open for anyone to join, more information is available here.
Congratulations to Laura Edison: Winner of In-House Lawyer of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards
On September 23rd, Skyrora's Legal Director Laura Edison won the In-House Lawyer of the Year award at the Scottish Legal Awards 2021. Laura has been a driving force at Skyrora for a number of years and her consistent hard work and motivation has helped form Skyrora into the leading company it is today.
The awards were judged by legal industry experts who brought together experience and market knowledge from across Scotland.
Skyrora would like to extend a huge congratulations to Laura on her recognition and award at the Scottish Legal Award.
Skyrora Continues To Grow Month on Month as Business and Engineering Teams Expand
This quarter Skyrora has seen the company grow by 30% across both our business and engineering teams. Our new starts have been steadily joining our teams in our Edinburgh HQ and Loanhead Facility since early August.
Evan, our newest business intern, has joined us from Ireland as part of an industry placement on his Masters degree course. Richard and Nickie have joined Skyrora full-time as our new Business Communications Officers working to further develop Skyrora’s business and external image as the company continues to gain more and more publicity. We’ll also be welcoming a new Business Support Officer to the office soon, they’ll helping us keep our ever-growing office space well managed.
This is an exciting time to be part of the UK space industry. As the sector moves towards home launched vehicles and the full operation of multiple spaceports across the country, now is the time to get your foot in the door.
Skyrora is frequently looking for new people to join our rapidly expanding company. Currently, we have several open positions including Chief Operational Officer and Junior Graduate Analyst. You can find out what these roles entail as well as information on our internships on our careers page.