European Astrotech firing up for record year of business

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European Astrotech (EAL), the Buckinghamshire-based space propulsion-focused firm is firing up for a project-packed and record year after a busy 2023.

Among the highlights for 2024, the company will deploy fuelling teams to Cape Canaveral numerous times and will fuel four space craft for two Galileo launches, making a total of 28 Galileo satellites the team have completed.

READ MORE: Latest satellite launch fuelled by Westcott firm European Astrotech

In October, the company is is scheduled to perform the fuelling of the HERA spacecraft at SpaceX in Florida. And it is also booked to fuel NAOS (National Advanced Optical System) a Luxemburg government optical satellite towards the end of the year.

“This is a really exciting time for the business with the growth coming on the back of the rapid development of the space industry,” said managing director Chris Smith.

“The next two years promise to be even busier, with eight launch campaigns already booked for 2025!”

EAL’S centre of excellence for Rocket Engine Flow Test at Westcott venture park is also set for growth following £740,000 of investment via the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

In 2024, in partnership with Plastron (part of the Space Industry Centre for Excellence), the business also hopes to be training ten PhD students from R2T2 – an amalgamation of universities providing space training including Glasgow, Kingston, Sheffield and Cranfield.

Working with Thales, EAL will also start the research and development and initial build of the ESPRIT propellant transfer system for the Lunar Gateway – a NASA project which will see a space station in orbit around the moon.

Matt Peachey, head of enterprise zone development at Buckinghamshire LEP, said: “We congratulate European Astrotech on its outstanding growth and invaluable contribution to skills support and development, which is paving the way for a robust talent pipeline within the thriving UK Space industry.

“European Astrotech’s approach draws new capability and capacity to the Enterprise Zone at Westcott, which in turn helps grow both safe practice and the UK Space community overall.”

The company ended 2023 with the successful SARah 2 and 3 launch campaign. The spacecrafts underwent successful pressure testing and fuelling during the first week of December, leading to a launch on December 24 from the SpaceX facility at the Vandenberg Space Force base in California, USA.

The company provides mechanical and chemical services in the supply and test of liquid propellants. They carry out material compatibility investigations, equipment design, testing of components and satellite propulsion subsystems, as well as test and fuelling operations throughout the world.

The business has been based at Westcott since 2007.

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