A British-developed rocket made from parts built in the UK has been launched from northern Iceland as part of a test flight.
The four-metre (13-foot) tall sub-orbital Skylark Micro rocket was launched from the peninsula of Langanes in north-eastern Iceland on 16th August.
The rocket, developed by the Scottish company Skyrora, was launched in two parts with an interval of a few seconds, and reached an altitude of 26.8 kilometres (16.6 miles).
Both parts landed in the sea just a short distance off the coast. The Skyrora launch, hosted and assisted by Space Iceland, was witnessed by around 30 people.
The rocket boasts two computers with positioning equipment and a pressure meter.
Edinburgh-based firm Skyrora says on their website that the Skylark Micro was “part of Skyrora’s de-risking program leading up to the building and launching of its orbital vehicle, Skyrora XL, scheduled for 2023.
“The launch of Skylark Micro was to test onboard electronics and communications that will also be used in the larger Skylark-L and Skyrora XL launch vehicles.
“Before launch, the team undertook a number of weather procedures to learn more about the mid and upper-level wind speeds and altitudes. In addition, the mobile launch complex allowed the team to collect a large amount of data of telemetry, GPS tracking, and weather conditions during the flight to which they are currently analysing.
“The test also allowed the Skyrora crew to practice launch procedures and marine recovery operations. Skyrora’s de-risking programme is based on testing its systems with smaller and more cost-effective vehicles before they are used in their larger Skylark L and Skyrora XL rockets.”
Their low Earth orbital rocket, the Skyrora XL, is scheduled to launch in 2023.
The company added that although a lot of data had been gathered they had failed in the search and recovery.
They said: “Despite the ongoing heroic efforts of the Langanes Search and Rescue and Skyrora Recovery teams, Skyrora has unfortunately been unsuccessful in their efforts of locating the Skylark Micro booster and sustainer stages.
“However, they are still continuing search operations for the next few days as well as learning how to improve future recovery operations.”
The company was not available for comment when contacted earlier by Newsflash.
Space Iceland head Atli Thor Fanndal said it was an experimental launch and that the future aim is to launch satellites that will orbit Earth.
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