In April 2017, LENA Space began working on a UK Space Agency National Space Technology Programme grant, to develop turbopumps for rocket propulsion systems. Identified as a need for the UK’s plans to create indigenous small satellite launch capability. LENA Space is focused on accelerating space access through the development of fast-to-market launch technology.
The project is supported by Lockheed Martin UK, who specialise in the development and integration of advanced technology systems. Paul Davey, UK Business Development Director for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company said;
“Rocket propulsion development is key to any plans for future UK small satellite launch capability and we are pleased to be supporting LENA Space”
Critical to any rocket launch system is the turbopump, which is estimated to be over half of the total engine development cost. LENA Space has one of the most experienced teams of rocket engineers and scientists in the country, focused on driving launch capability in the UK and globally. This project is the first stage in an ambitious programme for LENA Space. In developing the critical rocket engine technology, LENA Space ties together a range of sectors, supply chains and a lean business model to deliver innovative fast-to-market solutions, with a vision to be the leading UK developer in rocket propulsion for launch vehicles.
The UK government announced their ambition to realise UK space launch capability, enhancing export and industry growth to see the UK establish a 10% share of the global space market, currently valued at £400 billion. Critical to this is enabling access to space with fast-to-market, cost-effective launch capabilities. UK-based rocket propulsion work is considered integral to this goal.