European Astrotech soaring into the new year

17/01/24 | Tenant News

European Astrotech (EAL), a company specialising in engineering, technical, and advisory support to the space propulsion industry, is poised for a remarkable year of business.

The company concluded 2023 on a high note 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 momentous launch on December 24th from the SpaceX facility at the Vandenberg Space Force base in California.

2024 is set to be a record year of business for EAL for both propulsion launch campaigns and the growth of its Centre of Excellence for Rocket Engine Flow Test at Westcott Venture Park following £740,000 of investment via the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

EAL is helping to power the growing space sector with top level industry training, educating students and developing staff from organisations and companies across the UK.  This year, in partnership with Plastron (part of the Space Industry Centre for Excellence), the business hope to be training 10 PhD students from R2T2, an amalgamation of universities providing space training including Glasgow, Kingston, Sheffield and Cranfield.

The partnership’s modular Propulsion Test Safety and Familiarisation Course is now formerly part of the Kingston University degree course.  EAL will also be supporting the University of Sheffield’s Race2Space rocketry competition at Westcott in July.

Managing Director Chris Smith said: "This is a really exciting time for the business with the growth coming on the back of the rapid development of the space industry. The next two years promise to be even busier, with eight launch campaigns already booked for 2025!"

In 2024 EAL 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.  

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

Working with Thales EAL will 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.

To support this rapid growth, the business is actively seeking a highly skilled Propellant Chemist and a talented Junior Engineer.  In anticipation of future expansion, the company is also eager to welcome two interns who will have the opportunity to learn the ropes and gain valuable experience ahead of the exciting launch campaigns scheduled for 2025.

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.”


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