SCOTTISH rocket company Skyrora has launched its own online merchandise store with all profits going towards activities to support the next generation of UK space experts.
Since starting up the online store four months ago, the company has generated a global interest with 40% of sales coming from outside the UK.
While already committed to an active science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) programme, Skyrora – which aims to be the first UK company to launch satellites from Europe – will use the profits to further its work in sponsoring and supporting students to develop a career in the space sector.
The merchandise on offer includes clothing and accessories such as Skyrora branded hoodies and commemorative mission patches from recent test launches. The collection also features a t-shirt designed by merchandise design competition winner, Cameron Martin.
Katie Miller, Skyrora project manager, said: “The vision behind opening the merchandise store was to enable our audience to be a part of the developmental journey towards our launch capability.
“We designed the products to be as affordable as possible so that everyone can feel like part of the team. An added bonus is that we can support STEM activities from the profits too.
“While our STEM programme has been ongoing for a while now, the income generated through the merchandise store means we can do more to support and inspire the younger generation.
“At Skyrora, we realise how important it is to nurture young minds. Through our STEM programme and graduate intake, we encourage budding scientists, engineers and explorers to realise their potential and to be inspired by space.”
Headquartered in Edinburgh, Skyrora has had four launches of its sounding rockets and static fire tests of its suborbital vehicle and third stage of the orbital launch vehicle.
The launch of the merchandise store coincides with a number of recent successes for Skyrora. The company recently secured €3M funding from the European Space Agency, which will be used to complete Skyrora’s XL programme to deliver consistent orbital launches from the UK.
Skyrora XL is a 23-metre, 56-tonne, three-stage rocket capable of carrying up to 315kg into orbit. The vehicle is on course to be test launched in 2022 from a UK spaceport and the project is set to generate 170 high-skilled jobs.