UK rocket manufacturer company Gravitilab is working with the National Composites Centre (NCC), to design new composite flight structures for its range of suborbital launch vehicles.

The organizations are trialling a carbon fiber propellant tank which also forms part of the outer skin of the launch, helping reduce complexity and mass. While around 30% of the rocket is composite Gravitilab plans to increase this percentage in later versions, assuming performance targets are achieved, the company said.

‘The opportunity to partner with the NCC enables disruptive space companies such as Gravitilab to access the latest composites expertise and technology to exploit the huge benefits of composite materials for our lightweight but robust reusable launch vehicles,’ said  Gravitilab technical director, Rob Adlard.

‘We are delighted to be supporting Gravitilab with the ongoing research and development for using advanced composite materials in their family of sub-orbital launchers,’ added Sean Cooper, chief engineer at the National Composites Centre. ‘The adoption of new lightweight materials is going to make a step-change for future cost-competitive launch in the UK, and Gravitilab are pushing the limits of composite materials technology for their ADA and ISAAC launchers as part of some very exciting near-future engineering projects.’

This story uses material from Gravitilab, with editorial changes made by Materials Today.