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TISICS wins sustainable launch tech funding

January 5, 2023

By Colin Mann

Aerospace manufacturing specialist TISICS has received funding from the UK Space Agency to develop demisable launcher components that will reduce the risk of damage to spacecraft by space debris, whilst reducing the processing time and materials waste experienced from current HPV-liner manufacturing.

According to the Government’s National Space Strategy, published in 2021, the UK’s space sector is growing faster than the rest of the UK economy, currently employing 47,000 people directly and supporting 190,000 jobs throughout the supply chain. The sector contributes almost £7 billion (€7.84bn) to the UK economy each year. With the global space economy projected to grow to £490 billion by 2030, TISICS say it is critical that the UK builds on the commitments of the National Space Strategy to ensure continued growth and a safe, sustainable space industry.

Building spacecraft that demise during re-entry is key to future sustainability. TISICS aims to develop a weld-free, one piece aluminium liner/tank addressing the need for low-cost launcher components, by way of flexible design, reduced process steps and improved materials efficiency.

Demisability gives launcher manufacturers advantages over conventional approaches and allows compliance with recently imposed Space Debris Mitigation requirements. Design for demisability reduces the additional mass penalty and consequent increase in spacecraft size, necessary for controlled re-entry.

The programme aims to accelerate the creation of a UK launch supply chain and ensure lasting competitive advantage to deliver the UK’s ambition of becoming the leading commercial spaceflight provider in Europe by 2030.

“We are excited to receive this support for our spacecraft tank platform,” declared Stephen Kyle-Henney, Managing Director, TISICS. “Accelerating the adoption of lightweight, resource efficient components will be key to enabling the growing space industry in the UK to reach its sustainability ambitions and eliminate damaging space debris.”

“Funding new science and technology developments is crucial to growing the UK space sector and catalysing further investment into our economy,” added Matt Archer, Commercial Spaceflight Director at the UK Space Agency. “While we look forward to marking a major milestone in UK launch capabilities with the upcoming launch from Spaceport Cornwall, projects such as TISICS’ DellCom, which is developing launcher components that generate less space debris, help ensure we have growing pipeline of new and efficient technologies ready for lift-off to support our long-term ambitions.”

The £123,000 grant is part of a £2,7 million programme announced by the UK Space Agency in December 2022.

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