Each rocket weighs just 1.5 metric tons, thanks to the use of the advanced materials of carbon fiber and aluminum composites. Orbex Prime will be 30 percent lighter than rockets of the same size and will accelerate from 0 to 1,330 km/h in just 60 seconds.
The 3D printed rocket engines are manufactured in a single piece, eliminating the risks of weakness from joining. Prime will be fueled by bio-propane which burns cleanly and reduces carbon emissions by 90 percent compared to kerosene-based rocket fuels. The Orbex rockets are designed to be reusable and leave no orbital debris.
Chris Larmour, CEO of Orbex, said, “We’re creating rockets in a way that hasn’t been done before…The whole point of NewSpace – private enterprise getting involved in spaceflight – is to provide faster, better and cheaper access to space. Burning through hundreds of millions of dollars on robotic assembly lines or hundreds of staff to produce heavy, metal rockets is an antiquated approach. Building a modern space business means updating the manufacturing ethos to be faster, more agile and more flexible. That’s what we’re doing at Orbex.”