A British space company’s attempted rocket launch off the coast of Iceland ended in failure, with the projectile travelling just 500 metres before crashing into the sea.
Rival to Elon Musk’s SpaceX firm, Skyrora held an unannounced launch of its Suborbital Skylark L rocket today, ahead of a full UK launch from next year.
The vehicle was launched from a site in Langanes, Iceland, and according to Skyora “experienced an anomaly” shortly after take-off.
The rocket landed in the Norwegian sea about 500 metres from the site before an operation was launched to retrieve it and all parts attached to it. No people or wildlife were harmed.
Skyrora said the launch took place despite storms and freezing temperatures, following support from local Icelandic authorities allowing for the launch to take place.a.
Skylark L can reach 4 times the speed of sound and an altitude of over 125km, with Lee Rosen, its chief operations officer, vowing to learn from the attempted launch.
“With over three decades in the business, I can assure you that despite the best design, build, and test preparations, anomalies still unfortunately do happen.
“Skyrora’s launch attempt of Skylark L has provided the team with valuable experience in operations procedures, logistics coordination, and execution of the rapid setup and pack-down of our mobile launch complex, experience which will propel us forward monumentally in our mission to reach orbit.”
The British company’s founder and CEO, Volodymyr Levykin, said “Skyrora is continuously propelling itself towards UK launch. Our launch attempt in Iceland is a testament to building connections between nations, as well as the hard work of the Skyrora team.
The launch attempt was also praised by Björn Sigurður Lárusson, Mayor of Langanesbyggd, who said it was a “privilege” to host it.
The director of commercial spaceflight at the UK Space Agency,Matt Archer, also said the initiative helped “harnessing the opportunities provided by commercial spaceflight” and “creating highly skilled jobs and local opportunities across the country.”
The moment of take-off: