The UK is “front and centre” in the new space economy, said Scott Hammond, deputy CEO and operations director at SaxaVord Spaceport.

SaxaVord Spaceport is set to host the UK Space Agency’s Pathfinder Launch, delivered by Lockheed Martin and ABL Systems.

The launch site in Shetland is of strategic importance to the UK’s space economy as it offers the most direct route to orbit from Europe.

‘No longer a pipe dream’

Speaking during the Space Comm Expo 2022, Hammond said: “We are doing it, it is no longer a pipe dream, we are now moving earth, and there is going to be a space port which is going to be operational next year.

“We are going to be doing orbital launches, the first from Europe, Scotland and the UK. It is going to be really exciting. And that means the UK is front and centre now in the new space economy.”

Debbie Strang, CEO SaxaVord Spaceport, added: “SaxaVord was identified as the best place to launch satellites.

“The UK did not have its own capability for the launch and so SaxaVord was identified as the best place: we are the furthest north, the safest place to do that, and so in the past few years … we have been working on developing the site so we can offer that facility from the UK.”
Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter