Five Scottish Spaceports Come Together to Form an Association

1st Oct 2020
Machrihanish Airport

The Alliance of five Scottish spaceports in Scotland is a step towards the right direction as it will help the country get recognized in the world stage as far as space travel and satellite launches are concerned. Three members of the association plan to use the most common vertical rocket space launch. These three Scottish spaceports are located at the Western Isles, Shetland, and Sutherland. The other two locations use less conventional horizontal launches. Horizontal launches use aircraft to carry the rocket into the air from where they are then launched. The two “horizontal” launch locations are in Machrihanish and Prestwick. 

Aim of the Scottish spaceports Alliance

The primary purpose of the association is to help the UK gain more recognition in the world as far as space is in focus. The unity of the spaceports will ensure that the UK will significantly enhance its launch capability. The action of coming together is also significant in ensuring that Scotland can launch rockets successfully. Although the country’s satellite industry is already huge, the unity is set to make it even bigger still. 

Additionally, thanks to the association of the five spaceports, other space businesses will have a chance to thrive. Some of the areas that might benefit from the alliance include Orbital energy harvesting, low gravity satellite manufacturing, earth observation, and space tourism, among other areas. 

Collaboration between the Spaceports Alliance and the UK Space Agency 

According to Ian Annett, the Deputy Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, the Spaceports Association and the UK Space Agency will work hand in hand to ensure that the UK becomes the preferred destination for space launches in Europe. The main aim is to make one spaceport compliment the other by offering various services. He continued to add that the coalition is a continuation of the excellent working relationship that the UKSA has had with the rocket launch sites.

The Importance of Each Scottish Spaceport

John Innes, who sits on the Scottish Space Leadership Council, echoed Annett’s words in stating that the coalition happened at the right time when the country wants to enhance its launch capability. An improved launch ability will enable the country to compete in the global stage. The Alliance will be very instrumental in helping the UK overcome any challenges expected to arise due to the commencement of the country’s launching journey. He continued to add that each of the Scottish spaceports plays a crucial role in achieving this goal.

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