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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FAA Accepts Camden County Georgia’s Launch Site Operators License Application

Spaceport Camden launch complex (Credit: Camden County)

WOODBINE, Ga. (Spaceport Camden PR)–The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has notified Camden County, Georgia that it has completed an initial review of the Spaceport Camden Launch Site Operator License application and found it to be complete enough to accept and begin the 180-day review process. According to the FAA it “anticipate[s] making a license determination, in accordance with 14 CFR § 413.15, on or before December 16, 2019.”

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ESA’s Expertise to Support Portugal’s Launch Program

Azores from space

PARIS (ESA PR) — Portugal is developing the infrastructure for a national spaceport on one of the islands of the Azores archipelago, Santa Maria, a European launch and landing location for small satellites.

As an ESA Member State, Portugal has requested ESA’s tailored expertise and technical assistance in an agreement signed on 21 June by ESA Director General Jan Wörner and Manuel Heitor, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education.
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Scotland’s Western Isles Seeks Spaceport

Artist’s impression of Spaceport 1 north view. (Credit: Western Isles Council)

SCOLPAIG, Scotland (Western Isles Council PR) — North Uist is set to enter the space age as a project to create the UK’s first ever vertical launch commercial space port is unveiled today.

The consortium behind the Spaceport 1 project, which includes major players in the UK and international space sector and is led by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), is proposing to build a new Spaceport at Scolpaig on the north-west coast of North Uist.

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Nova Scotia Approves Spaceport with Conditions

Cyclone 4M

The CBC reports that the Nova Scotia Environmental Department has given an approval with conditions for the construction of a spaceport where Ukrainian Cylcone 4M launch vehicles would operate.

Environment Minister Gordon Wilson said he was satisfied any significant environmental effects of the Maritime Launch Services (MLS) project could be mitigated with compliance to the department’s conditions.

“I think we’ve made the right decision on ensuring that all the environmental impacts and the safety of the people in the area have been looked at and addressed in the terms of conditions of this approval,” said Wilson.

“Our staff did a very good job in engaging consultants who were understanding of this type of activity.”

[….]

Concerns about hydrazines, chemicals that will be used as rocket propellant, were among the main issues raised by the department.

Among the conditions, MLS will be required to submit information on expected air emissions of pollutants during regular operations and worst-case scenarios, including the maximum distance downwind that would need to be evacuated.











From Airport to Spaceport: £2 Million Available to Develop Horizontal Spaceflight in the UK

  • UK Space Agency opens £2 million [$2.54 million] development fund for horizontal spaceflight
  • Existing airports could develop new infrastructure to allow aircraft or spaceplanes to take off and deploy satellites in space
  • Horizontal spaceport runways also offer an attractive option for space tourism in the future.

LONDON (UKSA PR) — Future spaceports can apply for a share of £2 million [$2.54 million] to support plans for small satellite launch from aircraft and sub-orbital flight from the UK, Science Minister Chris Skidmore announced today.

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UKSA Awards Grant Funding for Commercial Launch Range Control Services

SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — The UK Space Agency has confirmed that three organisations have been awarded over £350,000 [$457.5 million] in grant funding for the development of commercial range control services at multiple spaceport sites across the country.

The successful applicants Telespazio VEGA UK Ltd, Deimos Space UK Ltd and Heliaq UK Ltd will use the funding to develop a business plan and initial concept of operations to offer range services from the UK on a commercial basis.

The 2018 Space Industry Act enables companies to use cutting edge technology while also safeguarding public safety. Range control services are vital to this and include activities such as tracking rockets and spaceplanes in flight, as well as notifying users of airspace when launches are taking place.

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Spaceport Camden Opponents: Document Proves Launches Too Dangerous

Spaceport Camden launch trajectories (Credit: Camden County)

CUMBERLAND ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE, Ga. (Protect Cumberland Island PR – A document proving that the Cumberland Island National Seashore’s expected casualty rates from launches at Spaceport Camden exceed FAA limitations has been legally obtained from Camden County by a local citizen under the Georgia Open Records Act (GORA).

The document was included in a large batch of documents sent to a Camden County resident, Steve Weinkle, as part of a GORA request.

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Shetland Space Centre Forms Partnership with ArianeGroup for Spaceport Study

Unst Island

GRANTOWN-ON-SPEY, Scotland (Shetland Space Center PR) — The Shetland Space Centre today announces a major partnership with ArianeGroup.

The joint venture, equally owned by Airbus and Safran and lead contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launchers, will define a concept of operations and assess the range of missions for the SSC spaceport project in the frame of a three-month study. The spaceport will be designed from the ground up to be a commercial facility operated by SSC.

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ANA & Marubeni to Establish Spaceport in Japan

A planned suborbital space plane. Credit: (PD AeroSpace Ltd./Koike Terumasa Design and Aerospace)

Nikkei Asian Review reports on efforts to establish a new spaceport in Japan.

All Nippon Airways operator ANA Holdings and trading house Marubeni will set up a spaceport in Japan as early as 2021, Nikkei has learned.

The launch site, equivalent to a seaport for ships or an airport for aircraft, will be for private space travel, and feature 3-km runways for craft that take off horizontally like airplanes….

The two companies, together with four other partners — including Airbus Japan, satellite broadcaster Sky Perfect JSAT and real estate company Mitsui Fudosan — have established a company named Spaceport Japan to advance the project. The Tokyo-based team will begin work on Friday.

ANA is working with PD Aerospace on developing a suborbital space plane.











Group Forms to Oppose UK Spaceport

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

The BBC reports a group named Protect The Mhoine (PTM) has formed to oppose plans to construct a spaceport on the Moine peninsula in Sutherland.

Its members’ concerns include the boundary of the spaceport’s exclusion zone being only a few hundred metres from their property, and also the handling of consultation on the project.Under the proposals, satellites launched from Sutherland would fly from north to south….

Chairman John William told BBC Scotland: “We think that drawbacks of building a spaceport on the Moine are far more serious and longer lasting than any possible benefits.

“The benefits are claimed to be 40 jobs in the area and perhaps 400 jobs worldwide. Those are tentative numbers.

“What is certain is if you destroy a peatlands area by putting roads across it, concrete in it and rockets on it the damage will last for hundreds or thousands of years.”











Houston Approves $18.8 Million for Ellington Spaceport Program

Artist’s impression of future Ellington spaceport. (Credit: Houston Airport System)

The Houston City Council has approved $18.8 million for the first phase of an ambitious effort to develop a spaceport at Ellington Airport.

The funding will pay for the construction of basic spaceport infrastructure, including streets, water, wastewater, electrical power distribution facilities, and communications facilities, according to the City Council agenda.

The council awarded the contract for the improvements, which are designed to help attract potential users of the spaceport, to Texas Sterling-Banicki, JV LLC.

Houston Spaceport is being designed to support the launch of suborbital, reusable vehicles. Officials have also opened the Houston Aerospace Support Center (HASC), which offers 53,000 square feet of laboratory office and technology incubator space and hardware production facilities.











Group Sues FAA for Withholding Georgia Spaceport Safety Assessments

Spaceport Camden launch complex (Credit: Camden County)

ATLANTA (SELC PR) — The Southern Environmental Law Center is challenging the Federal Aviation Administration for refusing to disclose important information about the risks of harm to human life and property around a proposed spaceport in Camden County.

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