As the UK rapidly develops its home-grown space industry with the likes of Orbex building rockets in Scotland and the Sutherland Spaceport in Scotland gaining planning permission, the future is bright for stellar careers in this industry sector.Orbex
has announced that it will sponsor the UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS) National Rocketry Championship for 2020-21, which will be called the UKSEDS Orbex National Rocketry Championship.
The competition challenges teams to design, build and launch a mid-power rocket with the primary goal of reaching the greatest height possible. Motor selection is limited to ensure fair competition between teams.
The Orbex sponsorship offers funding to all teams entering the competition and full sponsorship to any team that consists of at least 50% women or non-binary members. The goal of this grant is to encourage wider participation in the core technology aspects of launch vehicle design and development. Hand-on experience
Orbex CEO Chris Larmour said: “We really value hands-on experience, and there is no better way to gain that in rocketry than by building and launching rockets.
“Partnering with UKSEDS allows us to get involved with all of the student groups working on this technology and hopefully build useful connections for future rocket engineers working on our orbital launch vehicles, which are intended to launch from Sutherland in Scotland.”
Zaria Serfontein, UKSEDS events and competitions team lead, said: “We are very excited to be partnering with Orbex on the National Rocketry Championship 2020-2021; their support will allow us to enhance participation, both improving accessibility and providing the best possible experience for the students.
“Additionally, in line with core values of both UKSEDS and Orbex, the Gender Diversity Grant will help to promote gender diversity within all our UKSEDS competitions, taking steps towards addressing the gender imbalance that exists within the space sector.”
Teams are scored on flight performance, payload and the reports, pictures and videos documenting the project’s entirety.
Twenty-eight teams have entered the competition with finals expected to be held in July 2021. As part of the prize for the competition, Orbex will also invite the winning teams to join a test firing of Orbex’s main stage rocket engine.