Scott Hammond: Unst is the Best Location for Launching into Space

8th Feb 2021
Scott Hammond - Shetland Space Centre

The UK is Europe’s largest small satellite manufacturer. Its share in this market segment exceeds 60%. However, the space launch market in this country is yet to be created, and British satellites are currently launched into orbits from foreign spaceports, using foreign carriers. To address this problem, the British government decided to build several small satellite launch sites in the UK. 

Shetland Space Centre Claims to be the First in UK

Shetland Space Centre on the island of Unst in Scotland is one of the first contenders for the title of the first UK spaceport. This facility is private, founded in 2017 by the Strang family of local businessmen and Saxa Vord Resort owners. Scott Hammond, a top expert in infrastructure development, has been asked to manage this project. His job presupposes planning, design, and construction of a ground-based launch complex and related facilities. The latter should meet the latest market demands. Besides, Scott Hammond communicates with public and government agencies on all legislative matters. 

Who is Scott Hammond?

Before joining Shetland Space Centre’s Board of Directors, Scott Hammond had a long and fruitful career. He graduated from the Bristol Polytechnic University with a degree in Property Assessment Management. Later, Hammond received a German military translator’s degree from the University of London. From 1986 to 2001, he trained flight personnel in various structures, including the German Air Force. He dedicated 15 more years to the Royal Air Force and spent three years as CTO at 4Sight, a telemetry company.

The SSC Prospects with Scott Hammond

As an Operations Director at the Shetland Space Centre, Scott Hammond started an effective collaboration with space giants such as Lockheed Martin, Aecom, and ArianeGroup, as well as promising newcomers in the same industry like Rocket Factory in Augsburg, Skyrora in Edinburgh, Raptor Aerospace, B2 Space and C6. He also partnered up with several Scottish enterprises, as well as Universities of Strathclyde, Edinburgh and Munich. Furthermore, Shetland Space Centre successfully collaborates with another contender for the title of the first British spaceport – Cornwall Spaceport.

The Shetland Space Centre’s prospects are highly promising. Firstly, this site has a very favorable location for launching satellites into polar and solar-synchronous orbits. Second, Baltasound airfield with almost developed infrastructure is located not far from this facility. 

After some minor reconstruction, the airfield will store fuel and equipment. It will also host small business incubators that support space launches from Unst. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic which has severely affected the world’s economy already, Scott Hammond is confident that it will not interfere with Shetland Space Centre’s plans. According to Scott Hammond, Shetland Space Centre will still be ready for  launch in late 2021. 

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