A SCOTS rocket firm aims to make the "first totally private space launch in the UK" after the acquisition of a company with space flight-ready equipment developed.

Edinburgh-based Skyrora said it has completed the acquisition of the FARISpace project, led by Oxford-based rocket engineer Richard M Brown.

It is understood Scotland is being considered as a base for the historic launch.

FARISpace, already set up, is now being reconfigured in order to carry a larger payload under the name SkyHy.

The British technology uses an engine that has been tested a number of times and uses the kind of powerful, reliable technology that can be transferred for Skyrora’s orbital requirements, capable of multiple restarts and orbital manoeuvrability.

The firm said the acquisition fits with Skyrora’s technological plan, as it moves to capture its share of the fast-growing small satellite launch market.

Skyrora said it is working on a launch date and location.

Daniel Smith, director at Skyrora, said: "SkyHy is capable of near-space flight and can reach around 100km altitude, providing a valuable test case for us.

"We've opened discussions to launch from the UK, but we're not ruling out an international launch for this one if it cuts out delays.

"The key factors for us will always be safety, cost-effectiveness and a swift, responsive time to launch."

He added: "In the meantime, our engineers are working with Richard to repurpose and enhance the vehicle, helping an innovative British product do what it was made to do.

"With payload enquiries already coming in, we simply can’t wait to see it fly."

The UK's first spaceport is planned for Sutherland in Scotland in the earely 2020s while Glasgow Prestwick is also developing spaceport capability.

The space tech industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in Scotland with a strong presence in centres such as Skypark in Glasgow, which spans six buildings with around 4,000 employees and tech sector like pioneering satellite firm ClydeSpace, now owned by Swedish firm AAC Microtec following a £26 million deal.

Between 2015-17 Glasgow built more satellites than any other city in Europe.

Skyrora is developing launch vehicle technology that builds on previous rocket systems with the aim of reducing the cost of launches thanks to proven technology and advanced engineering methods.

SkyHy extends the range of Skyrora's launcher portfolio with a two-stage hydrogen peroxide hybrid rocket which is built and ready to launch.

The firm said that should the vehicle blast off from UK soil, it would be the highest commercial launch to take place as part of the new space race, and would come after the success of company's inaugural test launch last summer.