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Midlothian quarry to become a rocket engine testing ground

March 8 2021

Midlothian quarry to become a rocket engine testing ground

Private space company Skyrora has appointed HarrisonStevens landscape architects to help it deliver a static fire engine test facility at a disused Midlothian quarry.

Broad Law Quarry, a 5.6ha site in a special landscape area located some 17 miles south of Edinburgh, has been earmarked for a rocket testing lab with minimal intrusion upon the landscape by taking advantage of the quarry walls for screening.

Here a tripod test stand and compound capable of putting three-tonne thrust engines through their paces will be built on top of a 30x20m concrete plinth, surrounded by a 1m deep pool of water.

Rising to a maximum height of 10m these structures would fall below the lip of the quarry walls with proposed scrub willow and wildflower planting helping to further mask activity.

In a landscape statement, HarrisonStevens wrote: "... it is proposed that a series of landscape bunds up to 3.5m tall would be formed in the existing flat and bare ground at the north of the quarry. Utilising site won materials these will offer mitigation screening to the compounds from the B7007 and views from the low-lying farmland in the north and north-west.

"The bunds would be formed using different substrate mixes for each mound by mixing the percentages of stones, soil and silt and varying the particle sizes to promote the colonization of a diverse range of species including mosses and bryophytes."

Skyrora recently completed a successful static fire of the upper stage engine of Skyrora XL, a rocket capable of ferrying payloads of up to 315kg into orbit. 

1 Comment

#1 Posted by Terra_ on 16 Mar 2021 at 09:57 AM

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