Orbex launches largest internship programme in build-up to UK mainland’s first vertical rocket launch

Posted on 21 Apr 2023 by Joe Bush

UK-based spaceflight company, Orbex, is planning to launch its biggest internship programme to date. With recruitment kicking off this month, the programme aims to welcome up to a dozen new interns, making it the largest cohort of new interns to date.

The latest intake of interns comes as Orbex prepares for the first launch of its Prime rocket, which will be the first ever vertical rocket launch from the UK mainland, creating a once in a lifetime opportunity for potential candidates.

Teams offering placements during the 2023/24 programme include Assembly Integration and Test (AIT), avionics, propulsion mechanisms, systems engineering, Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC), software, structures and marketing and administration. Candidates will get to work alongside experienced members of the team and contribute to projects during their placement.

Orbex has six recruits in its current internship programme, five based in the company’s headquarters in Forres in the Scottish Highlands, and one based in its design and production facility in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Some of the current interns will have the option to take up a permanent position with Orbex at the end of their internship, with the remainder going back to university or to other placements depending on where they are in their educational journey.

“For anyone that is fascinated with space and rockets, this really is an opportunity of a lifetime,” said current intern Christopher Stewart. “For the new interns, joining a spaceflight company as it gears up for the first ever vertical rocket launch from the UK mainland will be an incredible experience. There will be no shortage of learning opportunities, and the interns will be playing their own small part in making history.”

Orbex Prime became the first full orbital microlauncher rocket to be unveiled in Europe in May 2022. Prime is a 19 metre long rocket designed to launch small satellites into polar and sun-synchronous orbits. Orbex has already announced several commercial launch contracts with satellite manufacturers, who will see their satellites launched into orbit directly from Scotland.

The company also received one of the largest rounds of VC funding in the global space sector in Q4 2022, securing £40.4m in its Series C funding round from new and existing investors.

Sustainable spaceflight continues to be a top priority for Orbex. The reusable Prime rocket has been engineered to leave zero debris on Earth and in orbit and is fuelled by a renewable form of propane. Prime launches have a carbon footprint up to 96% lower than launches from similarly sized vehicles relying on traditional fossil fuels. Sutherland Spaceport, the company’s ‘home’ spaceport, is being built by Orbex with sustainability in mind and is intended to be the first spaceport globally to be carbon-neutral in its construction and operation.

Elliot Doyle, Head of Talent Acquisition said: “The first vertical launch from the UK mainland will be a landmark moment, one that we hope new and existing interns will be able to play a part in delivering. It’s a remarkable opportunity to learn from our experienced team of experts while working on projects which will have a hand shaping the future of sustainable orbital spaceflight.

“While we, like many others, are eagerly anticipating the launch of Prime, our focus remains on the broader objective of creating a sustainable, dependable and financially viable route to space for our growing number of satellite clients. The first launch is just the beginning, but what a beginning to be a part of.”

Information about the Orbex internship programme can be found at: orbex.space/work-with-us/internships.

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