British rocket company Skyrora has urged Iceland’s government to ease up on the unnecessary red tape which is currently blocking Europe’s largest rocket launch.
The rocket company has called on the government to grant a licence which would end months of delays – and help the UK go ahead with its first launch from British soil next year.
“Skyrora is technically and operationally ready to launch, and is awaiting the outcome of our ongoing dialogue with the Icelandic regulators,” a Skyrora spokesperson told City A.M.
“We’re committed to continue working through the process to procure relevant permission – we hope imminently granted and Iceland can take its place at the forefront of space launches for Europe.”
The launch, initially scheduled for September last year from Husavik, will see Skyrora’s suborbital Skylark L rocket conduct its first roundtrip.
Skyrora, which built the spaceport – currently the largest on the continent, had been readying to complete first full orbital rocket launch from UK soil in 2023, but slow movements from the Icelandic government is scuppering progress, with much of the necessary infrastructure laying in wait in Iceland.
CEO and founder Volodymyr Levykin said the rocket firm is waiting on the Icelandic government to realise “the significant investment behind this project”, which would launch its position on the global stage for the New Space industry.
“Geographically, Iceland is positioned perfectly to open a new space corridor for Europe and the nation possesses the crucial expertise to make an impact in the smaller launch market…. The UK is a world leader in space technology, and this latest launch would take us another crucial step closer to reaching space from our own soil.”
A memorandum between the UK and Iceland signed last year had hoped to remove unnecessary bureaucracy from the process.
Head of engineering at Skyrora, Dr Jack-James Marlow, said that the rocket firm had been working closely with the country’s aviation authorities to ensure public safety and put a mission in place to recover vehicles from the ocean.
“Now we just require a launch licence from the government to put these plans into action,” he added.