Skyrora Signs Decade-long, Multi-launch Deal with Shetland Spaceport

Skyrora XL lifts off the launch pad. (Credit: Skyrora)

EDINBURGH, 12th October 2021 (Skyrora PR) — British rocket company Skyrora has agreed a multi-launch deal with the SaxaVord spaceport on Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Islands, as it moves closer to launching its XL rocket in 2022. This is the first agreement Skyrora has made with a Scottish Spaceport. If successful, this could be the first rocket to go to space from the UK. The multi-launch agreement with SaxaVord will run for the next decade, giving Skyrora the ability to build towards their target of 16 launches a year by 2030. 

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Shetland Spaceport Shot Down Over Historic Site Concerns

Launch from Shetland (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Shetland Space Centre’s (SSC) plans to build a spaceport on the old Royal Air Force Skaw radar station has been shot down, spelling potential doom for the project and Lockheed Martin’s plans to launch satellites from site in northern Scotland. The Shetland Times reports.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES)  said it would cause “extensive and adverse impact on the cultural significance” of Skaw radar station.

However, SSC chief executive Frank Strang has hit back saying he would “vigorously contest” the refusal.

Mr Strang said he was “greatly surprised” by the decision, claiming HES had  “done nothing to preserve the site for the last 50 years”.

Skaw is the UK’s most northerly Second World War radar station and protected as a scheduled monument of national importance.

The proposed space centre would be built almost entirely with in the RAF radar station site.

It would require the removal of nine buildings, including air raid shelters, guard huts and those associated with the radar system. 

Prospect of Major Boost to Shetland Economy as Space Launch Site Plans Lodged

GRANTOWN-ON-SPEY (Shetland Space Centre PR) — The creation of a space launch facility in Unst will result in hundreds of new jobs and significantly boost the local economy.

Major planning proposals have now been submitted to Shetland Islands Council on behalf of Shetland Space Centre by town planning consultants Farningham Planning Ltd.

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Shetland Space Centre Welcomes Transfer of Lockheed Martin UKVL Pathfinder Programme to Unst

Launch from Shetland (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

HAROLDSWICK, Scotland (Shetland Space Centre PR) — Shetland Space Centre today welcomed the announcement from the UK Space Agency that Lockheed Martin is transferring its satellite launch operations to Unst, creating hundreds of jobs.

UKSA said that the move from Sutherland followed a thorough process of due diligence and the project would deliver long-term value and help establish a sustainable, commercial launch market as part of the UK’s spaceflight programme – LaunchUK.

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