The British rocket company Skyrora’s first attempt to get to space has ended shortly after lift-off with the booster ditching in the sea.
The Edinburgh-headquartered company was aiming to get its Skylark L vehicle above 100km in a flight from the Langanes peninsula in Iceland.
But a technical problem saw the 11m-long rocket fall back into waters no more than 500m from the launch pad.
Skyrora is aiming to start orbital launches from Scotland next year.
These will occur at the Saxavord Spaceport being developed on Shetland. They’ll use a much bigger vehicle, the Skyrora XL.
Last weekend’s Skylark L flight was intended as an early chance to test systems and procedures.
“While this launch attempt did not go entirely as we expected, it has nevertheless been a valuable learning opportunity – and a huge victory for this new relationship between Iceland and the UK, as well as the European space sector more broadly,” said Volodymyr Levykin, the founder and CEO of Skyrora.
“Based on what we have achieved here, we remain confident of achieving our objective of a full vertical orbital launch from UK soil in 2023.”