Orbital Access has a simple mantra: small payload launch systems must continuously incorporate the latest advances to drive lower cost access to space. By doing so, we can enable the continued growth of space-based applications and infrastructure and
match ever-increasing demand.
// To that end, we aren’t simply developing the most efficient horizontal payload delivery systems today's technology allows; we’re also developing a roadmap for future launch systems based on new technologies
The Orbital 500 is our initial launch system for payloads up to 500kgs. Our future development pipeline is populated by outputs from our Future UK Small Payload Launcher (FSPLUK) project' which is supported by funding from the UK Space Agency.
// THE ORBITAL 500
The Orbital 500 is an air-launched, two-stage to orbit system, designed
to deliver payloads of 500kgs to a 600km Sun Synchronous Orbit, whether polar or equatorial. The project aims to develop a wide-body carrier aircraft with a bespoke centreline hard point that will support and supply the launch vehicle before its release at altitude.
The launch vehicle is derived from proven technical designs from a leading rocket development agency, reconfigured in partnership with our principal UK design consortium for air launch.
The system will be deployable to whichever licensed horizontal take-off spaceport is best positioned to deliver payloads to their required orbit,
or the spaceport closest to the customer's payload manufacturing or integration facilities.
// THE FSPLUK PROJECT
We know that future launch systems will need to fully harness new technologies currently in development.
The FSPLUK project is a collaboration led by Orbital Access that combines SABRE technology from Reaction Engines, the aero-design expertise of BAE Systems and the hypersonic research, trajectory design and optimisation capabilities of Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities. The project also includes the UK's leading small satellite manufacturers SSTL and Clyde Space, incorporating their future needs as a primary design imperative.
By closely collaborating with these outstanding partners, we can roadmap new vehicle developments to provide the next generation small payload launch vehicles and the air-test vehicles required to fine-tune the development of the SABRE engine.
The FSPLUK project defines Orbital Access's product development pipeline and harnesses the industrial base required to realise it. The project’s specific targets include an initial horizontal small payload launch system
in service by 2020, as well as a fully reusable system in service by 2030.
The technical and operational discoveries made during the development
of these systems will also lay the foundation for the creation of Skylon in the long-term.
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