Rocket technology

UK astronaut Peake joins Skyrora advisory board

Space rocket company Skyrora has announced the addition of British astronaut Tim Peake to its advisory board.

After a 17-year career in the military and aeronautical industry, Peake (pictured) joined the European Space Agency astronaut training programme in 2009 and took part in missions such as the ESA CAVES and NEEMO 16.

Following his six-month trip to the ISS managing scientific experiments for hundreds of researchers on Earth from December 2015 to June 2016, he led a UK countrywide tour to promote his ISS Principia mission to the younger generation.

In honour of his achievements, he was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in June 2016. He was also awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering’s prestigious Rooke Award in recognition of going above and beyond, promoting engineering and space to the younger generation.

Skyrora said his experience will be invaluable as the company continues its development of the Skyrora XL rocket for providing orbital launches by 2023.

The company has already run a recent full ground test of its second largest launch vehicle, making the UK effectively launch ready.

The ground test, the first in the UK since the Black Arrow Programme 50 years ago, was followed by Skyrora last month successfully launching its Skylark Nano rocket – the first of its kind to take place in Shetland.

Volodymyr Levykin, chief executive, at Skyrora said: “Tim has been at the forefront of the space industry for years. His level of expertise will help us to gain more insight into the rapidly evolving UK space industry and sustain our rapid growth and development.”

Mr Peake said: “The UK is well placed to become a key player in meeting the increasing need for small satellite launch opportunities and Skyrora’s innovative ideas and rapid pace of development make them an extremely exciting company to be working with.”

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