Lockheed Martin’s Move to Shetland Spaceport Boosts UK’s Plans for Satellite Launches

  • Lockheed Martin to develop UK launch operations from Shetland Space Centre on the island of Unst.
  • Orbex and Highlands and Islands Enterprise continue to advance launch plans from Space Hub Sutherland.

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Hundreds of space jobs will be created in Scotland following the approval of plans for Lockheed Martin to transfer its satellite launch operations to Shetland Space Centre by the UK government.

Shetland Space Centre anticipates that by 2024, the spaceport site could support a total of 605 jobs in Scotland including 140 locally and 210 across the wider Shetland region. A further 150 jobs will also be created through wider manufacturing and support services.

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Space Hub Sutherland Application Submitted to Scottish Land Court

Space Hub Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: HIE)

INVERNESS, Scotland (HIE PR) — Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is applying to the Scottish Land Court for consent to build, operate and, ultimately, decommission Space Hub Sutherland on a crofting estate on the A’Mhoine peninsula.

The spaceport plans have already received planning approval from the Highland Council, with up to 12 launches a year permitted.

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Space Hub Sutherland Wins Final Approval

Space Hub Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: HIE)

INVERNESS, Scotland (HIE PR) — Ambitious plans to launch satellites into orbit from the north Highlands of Scotland have been approved by the area’s local authority.

Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) intends to create Space Hub Sutherland on land owned by Melness Crofters Estate on the A’ Mhòine peninsula, south of Tongue.

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Planning Approval Obtained for Sutherland Spaceport

Sutherland launch complex. (Credit: HIE)

INVERNESS, Scotland (HIE PR) — The Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committee today [Friday 26 June 2020] approved plans by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to build a vertical launch spaceport in Sutherland.

Council approval means that small commercial satellites and launch vehicles designed and manufactured in Scotland could be heading into orbit from a Scottish spaceport within the next few years.

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Plans Submitted for Satellite Launch Site in Sutherland

Sutherland launch complex. (Credit: HIE)

INVERNESS, Scotland (HIE PR) — The latest generation of small communications satellites could be launched into Earth orbit from the northern Highlands of Scotland within the next two years. 

Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has submitted a planning application for a vertical launch site, Space Hub Sutherland, that it plans to construct on the A’ Mhoine peninsula, Melness, near Tongue.

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Public Invited to Share Views on Scottish Satellite Launch Site Proposals

Space Hub Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: HIE)

INVERNESS, Scotland (HIE PR) — Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which is backing the £17.3m project to design and build Space Hub Sutherland, has today (Wednesday 4 September) lodged a proposal of application notice with the Highland Council.

The notice effectively triggers the start of a process that will lead to a formal application for planning consent being submitted to the local authority at the end of December. 

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Orbex, Innovative Space Logistics Sign European Space Launch Agreement

Prime rocket launch from Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: Orbex/Anders Bøggild)

Agreement to provide all-European solutions for smallsat launches including purchase of launches from Scottish spaceport on Orbex Prime launcher

LOGAN, Utah, August 7, 2019 (ISL PR) – Innovative Space Logistics B.V. (ISL) and UK-based orbital launch services provider Orbex today signed a wide-ranging Cooperation Agreement at the 33rd Annual Conference on Small Satellites in Logan, Utah. The co-operation will include technical launch services including launch manifest coordination and payload integration. As part of the agreement, ISL will also procure orbital space launches from Orbex for a number of its smallsat customer missions.

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In-Space Selects Orbex For Scottish Launch in 2022

LOGAN, Utah, August 7, 2019 – In-Space Missions Ltd., a provider of military, institutional and commercial space initiatives, announced today at the 33rd Annual Conference on Small Satellites in Logan, Utah, that it will partner with Orbex, a UK-based orbital launch services company, to launch the Faraday-2b satellite from Scotland in 2022.

Faraday-2b will be the largest of In-Space’s commercial Early Service/In-Orbit Demonstrator (IOD) missions to date. Its space-as-a-service Faraday missions provide ultra-low-cost access to space for customers needing to demonstrate new services and technologies with the potential to move into an operational phase.

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Orbex CEO Praises Deal for Scottish Launch Site

FORRES, UK (Orbex PR) — Space Hub Sutherland gets the go-ahead from locals after Melness Crofters Estate (MCE) and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) signed a 75-year lease for the land earmarked for the development.

Below is a reaction from Chris Larmour, CEO of Orbex, the UK-based spaceflight company chosen to launch from the spaceport:

Chris Larmour, CEO of Orbex

“We welcome this very positive step forward.  Orbex’s interactions with the local community in Tongue, Talmine and Melness have been overwhelmingly positive and we’re pleased that this strong, long term agreement is now in place. 

“We look forward to working closely with the local community in the years to come, and we expect to have many locals working directly on the space launch programme as colleagues, ultimately helping the UK’s National Space Programme to begin launching satellites into space. That launch capability will be a first in continental Europe, and will offer a host of benefits, enabling new markets and enlarging the UK’s share of the global space economy.”

Lease Option Agreed for Space Hub Sutherland

Artist’s impression of a UK spaceport. (Credit: Perfect Circle PV)

INVERNESS, Scotland (Highlands and Islands Enterprise PR) — The owners of land earmarked for the Space Hub Sutherland development on the Moine Peninsula have agreed a lease option with developer, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Representatives of Melness Crofters Estate (MCE) and HIE signed the agreement yesterday (Wednesday 31 July). It secures the option for HIE to lease the land once planning consent for the project has been granted.

HIE is leading the development, with a £2.5m grant from the UK Space Agency (UKSA), which is also funding two launch companies that plan to use the facility.

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