Orbex to use Calor BioLPG for Prime launch

Orbex and Calor have entered into an agreement that will see the iconic UK gas company supply the ultra-low carbon fuel that will launch the Orbex Prime rocket. Under the terms of the new deal, Calor will supply Orbex with its BioLPG solution, a clean-burning propane produced from renewable feedstocks such as plant and vegetable waste material. This reduces CO2 emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to sourcing conventional liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from fossil sources.

Calor will also install BioLPG tanks and related infrastructure at the Orbex Launchpad Test Platform (LTP) facility currently being constructed at a dedicated test site close to the Orbex headquarters in Forres, Scotland. The test site is expected to be fully operational by early 2022, paving the way for Orbex to launch Prime from Spaceport Sutherland in the North of Scotland later in the year.

The use of Calor’s BioLPG instead of conventional rocket fuels such as refined fossil kerosene products like Rocket Propellent-1 (RP-1) is a key element in Orbex’s mission to make Prime the world’s most environmentally friendly space rocket. A recent study by the University of Exeter found that a single Orbex Prime launch would produce up to 96 per cent lower emissions than a similar-sized launch vehicle powered by fossil fuels – the result of almost entirely eliminating black carbon emissions.

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