Centre secures funding to test space tech in Cardigan Bay

The former airfield in Llanbedr (Snowdonia Aerospace)

By Dylan Davies,
Published by Cambrian News, 4 December 2023

Snowdonia Space Centre has secured £820,000 funding from the UK Space Agency to support the development of a new Space Technology Centre at the former Llanbedr Airfield.

The centre will develop the Space Technology Test Centre (STTC), in partnership with Newton Launch Systems Ltd.

The centre will exploit the unique location of the Snowdonia Space Centre, with its own immediate Danger Area and direct access to a larger Danger Area over Cardigan Bay, to provide a flight test range for rocket-powered test vehicles, near-space scientific flights, microgravity research and trials of re-entry vehicles and payload recovery systems.

The test range will be complemented by a space technology testing laboratory featuring a centrifuge, thermal vacuum chamber, vibration table, aerostructures rig and a rocket engine test stand.

In support of these activities, the grant together with private investment will be used to develop new Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) infrastructure including the installation of two launch rails and the necessary tracking and communications equipment to enable safe operation of the range.

The flight test range will be complemented by a space technology testing laboratory and rocket propulsion test facility.

The grant and private investment will fund the refurbishment of an existing building to laboratory standards, the installation of a clean room in another existing building, an upgrade to an existing thermal vacuum test facility, new centrifuge and a 5 kN sea-level rocket test stand with fixed infrastructure designed to accommodate up to 50 kN thrust to allow for future development. The proposed STTC will be made available to UK organisations to develop, test and qualify space technology and products in advance of commercial exploitation and to host training events supporting the UK skills base.

The Project is a 15 month Project scheduled to be completed by March 2025.

See: Original Article