RFA UK has been awarded £3.5m ($4.25m) in funding from the UK and European Space Agency to support its Scottish satellite launch.
The funding will be used to develop and operate the infrastructure needed at the SaxaVord Spaceport for the satellite launch and to test equipment. The company is planning to launch in Q2 2024.
George Freeman MP, Minister of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, said, “This £3.5m investment will enable RFA UK to develop the technologies necessary to launch from SaxaVord Spaceport in Scotland, creating dozens of jobs locally and growing the Scottish cluster as a key part of the UK space sector.”
The funding awarded for the satellite launch is part of ESA’s Boost! programme, aiming to help companies develop new launch technologies and bring them to the market.
Jörn Spurmann, managing director, RFA UK and chief commercial officer for parent company RFA AG, commented, “With the UK contributing as the third nation to the RFA ONE development via C-STS Boost!, we solidify our role as a genuine European launch service provider and the most endorsed commercial launch service development within the C-STS Boost! Programme. We are absolutely delighted to reciprocate this faith and support.”
About 90 skilled jobs are expected to be created locally when the spaceport reaches operational capability. This includes spaceport operations and administration, integration, testing, and launch.
Image: Rocket Factory Augsburg AG