Orbex has publicly unveiled its Prime rocket for the first time. Designed to deliver small satellites into Earth’s orbit, the rocket is made from a specially-formulated lightweight carbon fibre and aluminium composite and includes the world’s largest 3-D printed rocket engine.
Founded in 2015, the UK-based spaceflight company develops small satellite launch vehicles and is known for Prime, an environmentally-friendly rocket that uses renewable fuel to cut carbon emissions.
The Orbex launcher is equipped with a zero-shock staging and payload separation system resulting in no orbital debris. The device is also optimized for selective laser melting, helping to create a structure 30% lighter and 20% more efficient than any other launch vehicle in its category.
“Our aim during the process was to fulfill the quality expectations of the Orbex team, keep the functionality of the part and make it suitable for additive manufacturing,” said applications specialist, Lukas Pankiewicz. “Every single support structure used in data preparation has been customized to obtain the best quality in every section of the engine, taking post-processing into consideration as well.”
The rocket itself is made of composite material, including carbon fiber and aluminum, and, according to Orbex, will be easier and more efficient than other devices of its class. As the company says, for the first time Orbex Prime will be launched in 2021, from the Scottish cosmodrome. At the same time, Orbex has concluded an agreement with the Swiss company Astrocast SA, according to which in 2023 it will have to launch 10 nanosatellites for the global IoT network.
- Images via [Orbex Space]
I wonder how a nuclear reactor works and can robots build a house?