A Division between Two Space Giants and Operation Shift from Scottish Spaceport

6th Nov 2020

The UK’s space industry expects a significant shift of operations from the Scottish spaceport in Sutherland to Shetland Space Centre.

This agreement is seeing a split after Lockheed Martin and the UK Space Agency come together in the Space Hub launch. The separation of the duo is due to operational altercations. 

What are the Differences?

One of the companies, Orbex, is looking into an alternative energy source to substitute kerosene, which is harmful to the environment. This new fuel is a mix of liquid oxygen and biopropane, which is safer for the environment. The output is estimated to be the same as what kerosene produces, just safer.

On the other hand, Lockheed has issues finding enough launch vehicles, while Orbex has one already that meets all their requirements. The one thing Lockheed is ahead of the game with is their previous engagement in the space industry. 

Such reasons is why they are shifting from the Scottish spaceport at Sutherland. They have deals in place to finance raising companies that focus on constructing and amassing small launch space vehicles.

Lockheed has dealt with Rocket Lab, yet another space giant, in the launch business using a small launch space vehicle called the Electron rocket. 

The decision to Shift Operations from one Scottish spaceport to another

The divide and the decision to shift  Space Hub operations have invoked a positive response from the UK government. 

They stated that it is a significant move that substantializes the country’s space exploration growth. They aim to use this divide as an opportunity to get more players on board into the space industry.

There are, however, some doubts as to whether the country needs two launch sites. However, since other companies hope to join the bandwagon to construct small launch vehicles, why not? Such a company that is willing to do this is C6 Systems. 

Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne

Plans on the expansion lie in the creation of additional launch pads. For instance, after completion, Cornwall Airport is to become the host for LauncherOne, a Virgin Galactic project. This plan is to be set in motion by the year 2022.

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