Home Industry 3D Printing for Aerospace – Skyrora and Spirit AeroSystems Agree to Collaborate

3D Printing for Aerospace – Skyrora and Spirit AeroSystems Agree to Collaborate

Skyrora and Spirit AeroSystems have announced a collaboration in the field of orbital launch capability. Skyrora will provide Spirit with access to the Skyprint 2, the largest in-house hybrid 3D printer of its kind in Europe.

Skyrora is developing an agile, end-to-end launch service for global access to small satellites in space. Following a test launch of the suborbital Skylark L vehicle in October 2022, the company aims to be the first UK company to launch satellites vertically from the UK ground, with up to 16 launches per year at full operational scale.

Volodymyr Levykin, CEO and Founder, Skyrora, said: “This alliance is a real testament to the strides Skyrora has made, and continues to make, towards our mission of being the first British company to launch from UK soil. It will allow us to renew our focus on localising our supply chain as much as possible, which is a key part of our mission to create a responsible and sustainable approach to orbital launch. By collaborating with innovative partners like Spirit, Skyrora will be able to access manufacturing and testing capacity right here in the UK. Historically, space has not been an environmentally friendly industry, but we are committed to being a responsible player that continues to foster talent and skills nationally as the ambitious new space economy goes from strength to strength.”

Spirit AeroSystems, whose presence in the UK space sector is growing, brings significant industrial capability to Skyrora’s launch project through its extensive metal and composite manufacturing and testing capabilities in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The companies will explore opportunities to take Skyrora’s orbital launch vehicles from development to volume production using Spirit’s expertise in aerostructures.

Sir Michael J Ryan CBE, Vice President, European Space and Defence, Spirit AeroSystems, said:“Through our support of innovative, sustainable, space technologies and clusters, we can add real value to building UK launch capability. Spirit’s role will be to fully industrialise Skyrora’s future production requirements, ensuring a smooth path from development to manufacture. The UK Space Conference provides a fantastic platform for companies like ours to cement relationships enabling commercial success within the sector including, importantly, UK launch activity.”

The UK government has identified orbital launch as a key priority, with plans to secure a greater share of a global space economy estimated to be worth £490 billion by 2030.

Matt Archer, Director of Launch, UK Space Agency, said: “This collaboration between Skyrora and Spirit clearly demonstrates the attractiveness of the UK’s thriving launch sector and the growing interest from both UK-based and international companies. Relationships such as this will not only build our domestic spaceflight capability but also help deliver Government’s ambition for the UK to be Europe’s leading provider of small satellite launch by 2030, creating highly skilled jobs and local opportunities across the UK.”

Another aim of the collaboration is to explore space technologies, particularly in the area of additive manufacturing. Skyrora will provide Spirit with access to Skyprint 2, the largest hybrid 3D printer of its kind in Europe. Through research enabled by Skyprint 2, a localized supply chain could be established, reducing costs and lead times for Spirit and helping to drive growth in the UK space sector.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

3DPResso is a weekly newsletter that links to the most exciting global stories from the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry.

Privacy Policy*

You can find the privacy policy for the newsletter here. You can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time. For further questions, you can contact us here.