Astronaut Tim Peake has been appointed to the advisory board of Scottish space startup, Skyrora.
Peake joins the Edinburgh-based firm amid an exciting period as it continues development of the Skyrora XL rocket to provide orbital launches by 2023.
The space startup hopes to establish itself as a leading player in the UK space race, and recently conducted a full ground test of its second-largest launch vehicle.
This ground test marked the first in the UK since the Black Arrow programme 50 years ago, and was followed last month by a successful launching of its Skylark Nano rocket from Shetland.
Skyrora said Peake’s experience as both an astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA) and as a former crew member on the International Space Station (ISS) will be “invaluable” to the firm.
Commenting on the appointment, 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.”
Following a successful 17-year career in the military and aeronautical industry, Peake joined the ESA astronaut training programme in 2009, and took part in missions such as the ESA CAVES and NEEMO 16.
- ‘World first’ Heriot-Watt lab to explore care sector tech solutions
- RBS payments app to help Scots businesses re-open after Covid-19
- Edinburgh Lockdown Economy launches interactive ‘experiences’ feature
From December 2015 to June 2016, Peake spent six months on-board the ISS managing scientific experiments for hundreds of researchers and led a UK-wide tour to promote his ISS Principia mission to young people.
This tour subsequently led to the creation of an educational outreach programme of more than 30 projects aimed at engaging and inspiring over two million school children throughout the UK.
Commenting on the appointment, Peake 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 the rapid pace of development makes them an extremely exciting company to be working with.”