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Leif Erikson Award

Rocket firm Skyrora’s green credentials recognised

Volodymyr Levykin, left, receiving his prize from the president of Iceland

Scottish rocket company Skyrora has received environmental recognition from Iceland which recently hosted one of its launches.

The country’s president bestowed the Leif Erikson Lunar Prize on the Edinburgh-headquartered company for its green credentials, in particular its innovative project ‘Ecosene’ that converts non-recyclable plastic waste into a usable high-grade aviation fuel. 

Skyrora plans to use Ecosene, replacing kerosene, on its larger launch vehicles, Skylark L and Skyrora XL, with the first Skylark L sub-orbital launch expected for early next year.

The company claims that, when Ecosene becomes commercially available, it could reduce 400 thousand tonnes (equivalent to 53 lorries) of non-recyclable plastic waste a year. 

Last month’s launch in the Langanes Peninsula in Iceland

At the same time, it would stop Skyrora from using limited kerosene resources and minimise Skyrora’s own carbon footprint, and that of the aviation industry, too. 

Volodymyr Levykin, CEO of Skyrora said: “This came as a great surprise during our short visit to Iceland.

“Global climate change is extremely important for everybody at Skyrora and we see it as our mission and duty to be as environmentally conscious as possible. 

“Receiving the Leif Erikson award during our seven-day trip to Iceland goes to show how much potential Ecosene has, not only for the company but for the future of the global space industry.”

The awards, also known as the ‘exploration’ awards, are presented annually by the Exploration Museum in Husavik, Iceland for achievements in exploration.

They are named after the Icelandic explorer who is considered the first European to land in North America. Previous winners include astronauts who have moonwalked and another astronaut who became the first man to both spacewalk and conquer Everest.

During Skyrora’s preparations for launching its Skylark Micro visit, Volodymyr Levykin along with managers Derek Harris and Katie Miller also met the president of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, as well as the Minister of Education and Culture and the Minister of Environment.

They discussed the company, the Skylark Micro Mission and its current and future plans in Iceland.



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