Rocket Factory Augsburg Signs Agreement with Andøya Space for Maiden Flight

RFA One launcher in flight (Credit: Rocket Factory)

AUGSBURG, Germany — Rocket Factory Augsburg AG (RFA), a participation of space technology company OHB SE, will be establishing a launch site for a micro launcher together with Norwegian company Andøya Space. The two partners have now signed a letter of intent to this effect. The site is to provide launch services for small satellites from 2022.

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Environmental Groups File New Claims Accusing Spaceport Camden of Hiding Public Documents

Spaceport Camden launch complex (Credit: Camden County)

WOODBINE, GA (SELC PR) – Environmental organizations filed new claims today against Spaceport Camden proponents for unlawfully withholding important public documents about the flawed project.

On behalf of One Hundred Miles, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) has amended its ongoing lawsuit in Camden County Superior Court against Camden County and Spaceport Camden consultant Andrew Nelson for failing to meet requirements under the Georgia Open Records Act.

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Dispute Erupts Over SpaceX’s Boca Chica Test Facility

Elon Musk (center) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry break ground on a new launch complex. (Credit: Texas Governor’s Office)

A dispute has erupted between several environmental groups and the federal government over the impact of SpaceX’s test operations at Boca Chica Beach in south Texas.

The issue: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved SpaceX’s plan to use the coastal site for launching its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets up to 12 times per year.

However, Elon Musk’s company has instead been using its facilities to develop and flight test its larger Starship and Super Heavy boosters. The resulting impacts have been much greater than anticipated under the original proposal, environmental groups argue.

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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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Go-ahead for Space Hub Sutherland Starts Countdown to Launch of Orbex Prime from Scotland

Prime rocket launch from Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: Orbex/Anders Bøggild)
  • Sutherland spaceport granted planning permission
  • Orbex confirms six launch contracts
  • Significant steps on launch system testing
  • New jobs in Moray and Highlands regions

FORRES, UK, 26 June 2020 (Orbex PR) – The first orbital spaceflight from the United Kingdom has come a step closer following the Highland Council’s decision to give the go-ahead for the Space Hub Sutherland spaceport.

Orbex, the UK-based space launch company, has confirmed that Orbex Prime will be the first vertical launch vehicle to fly into orbit from the Space Hub, which will be constructed near Melness on the northern coast of Scotland. Orbex today confirmed the company has already signed six launch contracts.

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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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New US-UK Agreement Boosts UK’s Spaceport Plans

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK and US governments have signed a new agreement paving the way for US companies to operate from UK spaceports and export space launch technology.

UK Ambassador Dame Karen Pierce and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-proliferation, Christopher Ford, signed the US-UK Technology Safeguards Agreement, which will enable U.S. companies to participate in space launches from the United Kingdom, on Tuesday 16 June 2020.

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Shetland Space Centre Receives Initial £2 Million Investment Boost

HAROLDSWICK, Scotland — Shetland Space Centre’s (SSC) plan to build and operate a satellite launch site has been given a major boost by a £2,050,000 [$2.65 million] investment from Leonne International, the international private equity firm.

The cash injection, which gives Leonne a 20 per cent stake in the business, will be used for future growth of the company, such as the development of the launch site and ground station in Unst.

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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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Camden County Alters FAA Application for Spaceport

Spaceport Camden launch complex (Credit: Camden County)

The FAA has delayed the release of the final environmental impact statement on the proposed Spaceport Camden in Georgia after Camden County amended its application last week. The release had been scheduled for Monday. Dec. 16.

“On Dec. 14, 2019, Camden County notified the FAA that it was amending its launch site operator license application,” a FAA spokesperson said. “This amendment requires the FAA to conduct new analyses to address the fundamental changes to the application, and the FAA has agreed to toll its review of Camden’s license application per Camden County’s request.”

The original application requested approval to conduct orbital and suborbital vertical launches and landings of medium and large rockets.

“Launch operations would include preparatory activities to ready and test launch vehicles and systems, including up to 12 vertical launches and up to 12 associated launch vehicle first-stage landings per year,” the spokesperson said.

“This amendment removes the request for a medium-to-large rocket with return to a small rocket with no return,” she added.

Reaction Engines to Support Research into UK Spaceport Feasibility

Campbeltown Airport

ABINGDON, England (Reaction Engines PR) — At the UK Space Conference, Science Minister Chris Skidmore and UK Space Agency confirmed a further £1.3 million towards developing spaceport plans in England, Scotland and Wales as part of the government’s spaceflight programme, LaunchUK.

The funding will be shared between three sites around the country and Reaction Engines will play a key role supporting the assessment undertaken by the owners of Machrihanish Airbase company behind one of these sites; the Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC).

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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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Skykraft, Equatorial Launch Australia Sign Letter of Intent for Strategic Partnership

Letter of Strategic Intent

Skykraft Pty Ltd and Equatorial Launch Australia Pty Ltd (ELA) agree to develop a strategic relationship that leverages the strengths of both companies. Those being, Skykraft as a designer and manufacturer of small satellite (SmallSAT) constellations for a broad range of space-based services, and ELA as the operator of Australia’s first commercial spaceport, located near Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory.

The combination of Skykraft’s rapid constellation design and manufacture capability, plus ELA’s ability to tailor the launch options through their established spaceport and access to a wide selection of launch vehicles, provides Australia and the broader space community with an end-to-end solution for rapid, flexible and responsive space access.

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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.”