Shetland’s location in the northernmost reaches of the UK make it an optimal place for the space economy.
The island of Unst in particular was identified in an independent report for the UK Government as the best location in the country for the launch of small vertical rockets transporting small satellites into low earth orbits. Its northerly location also means it is ideal for tracking and communicating with satellites already in orbit.
Home to the privately-funded SaxaVord Space Port, Lamba Ness in Unst is already the chosen site for the UK Space Agency’s UK Pathfinder Launch, to be carried out in 2022 by space industry behemoth Lockheed Martin and rocket manufacturer ABL Systems.
German rocket company HyImpulse has also signalled its intention to launch from Unst, and has carried out a series of engine tests at the former Scatsta Airfield adjacent to the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal, with more tests and the launch of a sounding rocket planned.