A world first for space tech is being claimed from right here on Cornish soil.
Gravitilab Aerospace Services Ltd successfully launched its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Predannack airfield, which climbed to 2,000 ft before releasing its payload, which achieved a period of microgravity. Microgravity is when objects appear to be weightless.
It is said to be a world first for generating a “sustained microgravity environment” using an UAV system.
Norfolk-based Gravitilab says microgravity environments offer “far superior” research and testing conditions and the launch opens up the world of microgravity research to new markets as diverse as pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, building materials, communications, SpaceTech and climate science.
“This is a fantastic collaborative achievement for Gravitilab, the Cornwall Space Cluster, and the UK Space Industry as a whole,” said Rob Adlard, CEO and technical director of Gravitilab.
“The only option for terrestrial microgravity testing until now has been to wait several years for access to a drop tower in Germany, which provides two seconds of microgravity. Our service can be delivered locally, is less expensive and as a result of our demonstration flight, we are on target to offer 5 to 20 seconds of high-quality microgravity using our LOUIS UAV system.”
Cornwall Space Cluster director, Gail Eastaugh, added: “We’re thrilled to have been able to support the achievement of this world first in microgravity testing from Cornwall. Cornwall Space Cluster exists to unlock innovation within the space and aerospace sector and companies like Gravitilab are paving the way for the future of the industry.”