UK Spaceport To Be Built In Sutherland

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UK Spaceport To Be Built In Sutherland

Postby toucana on July 17th, 2018, 3:21 pm 

A'Mhoine.jpeg
Artist's impression of new spaceport

Plans have been unveiled to build UK’s first spaceport on the A’Mhòine peninsula in Sutherland Scotland.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-44839536

The site will be located at Melness on the extreme north-east tip of A’Mhòine (Gaelic - Morass, peat-bog), a peninsula between the Kyle of Tongue and Durness which is an SSSI (site of special scientific interest) covered with blanket bog. The location was chosen after studies indicated that it offered the best options for building a new vertical launch facility on British soil to place satellites into lucrative satellite orbits.

Sutherland is the first vertical launch site to be awarded the grant money, ahead of other vertical sites at Unst, Shetland, and North Uist in the Western Isles.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise will be given £2.5m from the UK government to develop the spaceport which could be up and running by the early 2020s.

The UK government said US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin would establish the launch operations in Sutherland, and develop "innovative technologies" with support from two UK Space Agency grants totalling £23.5m.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) plans to add £9.8m of its own funding, and said it will spend the next 18 months preparing a planning application to submit to Highland Council.

Once the site is developed, HIE said it expected that 400 people could be employed across different sites and that up to six launches of micro satellites could be carried out each year.

Footnote - I happen to know this area. Two long-time friends live and work on the Tongue estates. It’s a long way off the grid.
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