SCOTTISH space company Skyrora has successfully carried out testing on a fully 3D-printed commercial rocket engine for the first time in the UK, it said.

The Edinburgh-based firm used its base in Cornwall to carry out engine checks on its XL rocket, the firm’s main orbital launch vehicle.

The engine has stop-start technology, meaning Skyrora’s rocket can deliver satellites to different orbits, which it says is “similar to a school bus dropping pupils off at different locations on its route”.

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The firm also hosted an invitation day to showcase the new engine with school children, partners and media.

Vladimir Levykin, Skyrora chief executive, said: “Our tests will check engine performance to trial our one of a kind mobile rocket test laboratory and provide valuable staff training.

“It’s been built in Scotland and gives our team a chance to make sure everything works as per their plans and designs.”

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The engine’s 3D-printed technology represents a landmark moment in the industry as it allows cooling channels to be embedded into the walls of the combustion chamber, meaning the engine requires fewer parts.

This makes it much more straightforward to assemble, ultimately boosting reliability. Skyrora is working towards a green fuel that can be used in future launches. The ecosene fuel will make use of discarded, unrecyclable plastic waste.