Weather Station at SaxaVord Spaceport, Previously Known as Shetland Space Centre

22nd Feb 2022
Weather Station at SaxaVord Spaceport, Previously Known as Shetland Space Centre

The agreement between SaxaVord Spaceport and the Met Office is included in a larger deal closed. Prediction parameters will assist the Launch Director in make-go or no-go rocket launch choices based on weather conditions. SaxaVord can opt to receive on-site or remote consultation from a qualified operational meteorologist from the Met Office for the launch days. This person will provide up-to-date expert feedback on present and forecast meteorological conditions. Data analysis from Met will be accessible after the launch so that the operator can understand how the rocket performed under the launch’s conditions.

Shetland Space Centre Was Looking into Making Rocket Launches Safer

According to Jimmy Slaughter, the Spaceport Range Officer at SaxaVord Spaceport, the contract comes as the result of lengthy discussions between Shetland Space Centre and the Met Office regarding what customised spaceport weather services for any rocket launch should and might look like.

Simon Marshall, the Key Account Manager for the Met Office said that this is an exciting moment for the UK Space sector, and that the Met Office is glad to see the SaxaVord Spaceport has decided to engage with them in assisting to make smarter choices when it comes to safety and growth.

Rocket Launch Weather Forecasts as Important as Airport Weather Forecasts

Matt Archer, the UK Space Agency’s Director of Commercial Spaceflight, mentioned they are ideally positioned to help SaxaVord during launch days and the time that precedes launches. Safety and honesty are at the centre of all it’s being done at the Met, and it seems the SaxaVord Spaceport shares the exact same principles.

Archer added that accurate weather monitoring plays one of the key parts in maintaining the dependability and safety of rocket launch operations, just like it matters for aeroplane launches. Shetland Space Centre and the Met’s project exemplifies how important it is to prepare for the first UK rocket launch.

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