Construction on a low-cost vertical spaceport in the north of Scotland may commence within a year, pending the approval of a planning application by a local authority.
The spaceport, to be called the Space Hub Sutherland, would be built at A'Mhoine on the Moine Peninsula in the county of Sutherland, a few miles from Scotland's Atlantic coast. This facility would enable vertical rockets to launch small satellites into low Earth polar and sun-synchronous orbits.
August - Highlands - Islands - Enterprise - HIE
In early August, the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), a local Scottish government economic and community development agency, signed a 75-year option to lease the land where the spaceport would be built.
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Development - Funding - UK - Space - Agency
The development, which would cost $20.7 million, received $3 million of funding from the U.K. Space Agency in July of 2018.
"We hope to get planning consent in early 2020 and start construction soon after that," Roy Kirk, Space Hub Sutherland project director at HIE, told Space.com. "If all goes well, we will see launches from Sutherland by the early 2020s."
Year - HIE - Contract - NORR - Consultants
Earlier this year, HIE awarded a contract to architecture firm NORR Consultants to design facilities at the spaceport, including a launch-control center and the assembly and integration building.
"We believe that the vertical launch opportunity that we are developing will deliver a
Access - Space - Kirk - Launch - Price
really cost-effective and low-cost access to space," said Kirk. "Each launch will have a very tight price point, and we hope to achieve very short lead times for these launches."
Lockheed Martin and the British aerospace company Orbex previously committed to launching from the Sutherland spaceport, hoping to carry out up to 10 launches per year.
Year - Orbex - Stage - Company - Prime
Earlier this year, Orbex unveiled the second stage of the company's innovative Prime rocket, which uses a biopropane fuel and emits 90% less carbon dioxide than conventional, hydrocarbon-fueled rockets. Biopropane is an alternative to...
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