Astronaut Tim Peake has joined the advisory board of Edinburgh-based space technology firm Skyrora.
The former International Space Station (ISS) crew member will advise the company as it works towards the first orbital launch of its Skyrora XL rocket in 2023.
Peake spent 17 years as a British Army Air Corps officer and in the and aeronautical industries before joining the European Space Agency in 2009. He spent six months on the ISS from December 2015 to June 2016 and became the first British-registered astronaut to walk in space.
He said: “I’m delighted to be joining Skyrora’s Advisory Board and helping to support their efforts to develop a commercial rocket launch capability.
“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.”
Skyrora aims to become the first company to send a rocket into orbit from Scottish soil. Last month, it completed a successful suborbital launch of its Skylark Nano rocket from North Roe on Shetland, one of a series of tests to find the best location for the first full launch. In May, it carried out the UK’s first ‘static-fire’ground test in 50 years using its Skylark-L rocket near Alness in Ross-shire.
Skyrora chief executive Volodymyr Levykin said: “I couldn’t be more excited with Tim joining our advisory board. Tim’s knowledge, insight, and vast experience in the space industry will boost Skyrora’s efforts to become the UK’s premier and principal company for commercial rocket launches.
“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.
“As the UK space industry continues to grow rapidly, we must all work together and combine our multidisciplinary efforts to achieve capturing 10% of the global space market by 2030, as targeted by the UK Government.”