A newly developed high-power chemical rocket was launched in the heart of Wiltshire, UK nuclear fusion firm Pulsar Fusion has revealed.
The Bletchley-based company launched the rocket from the Ministry of Defence’s military base in Salisbury and took place on November 17.
The firm shared with City A.M. today that the launch contained the first high-power chemical rocket engine in the UK.
These rocket engines could be used for a variety of applications, including launching people and satellites into space, the firm explained in a statement.
“This successful set of test firings showcases the rapid design development and test process of high-performance engineering components to support Pulsar Fusion’s energy and propulsion hardware portfolio roadmap. The rocket engine proudly displayed the Union Jack flag during testing,” the company said.
The hybrid rocket engine contained nitrous oxide (N2O) oxidiser and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fuel and oxygen, the firm disclosed, adding that “it is a new model that enables Pulsar to manufacture these compact rocket engines at record lead times.
“These engines have relatively benign failure modes in comparison with conventional liquid propulsion engines.”
“We are delighted with the UK test firings. This is a hugely significant moment and we are proud this rocket is built in the UK. To have a British rocket test on UK soil is novel,” said company CEO Richard Dinan.
Pulsar is among a very few companies around the world to have built and tested these technologies. It has a team of scientists and it is working with British as well as European space agencies to test its hardware later this month in Switzerland.