Readying for LAUNCH

In less than 12 months, a satellite could be orbited for the first time from a Scottish spaceport, but questions remain over the regulation and long-term viability of UK space launches. Robert Coppinger provides an update

Artist’s impression of Space Hub Sutherland’s launch site
Highlands and Islands Enterprise

The launch of a rocket from Scotland next year will mark a key milestone in the regeneration of a space access capability in the UK, bringing with it a range of new opportunities for both the commercial and defence sectors in the coming years.

Scotland will be joining a short list of countries that have space launch sites – although this number is increasing, as technology improves and the costs involved decrease.

The launch goal was set out in the UK’s Integrated Review, which stated a government pledge to “support the growth of the UK commercial space sector, and ensure the UK has the capabilities to protect and defend our interests… including through the new Space Command and the ability to launch British satellites from the UK by 2022”.

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