Proposals for Shetland Space Centre submitted

  • Published
UnstImage source, Shetland Space Centre
Image caption,
Unst is seen as an ideal location

Proposals for a spaceport complex in Shetland have now been formally submitted.

Shetland Space Centre (SSC) wants to build a vertical launch pad facility at Unst.

Unst is Scotland's most northerly island and is seen as a good project location because of its clear airspace.

SSC aims to have a fully operational satellite launch facility and ground operations centre by late 2021.

Members of the public will get the chance to comment on the proposals during a series of exhibitions in Unst in early May after the formal proposal of application notice was submitted to the local authority, Shetland Islands Council.

A full planning submission is expected to be made in June.

'Prime location'

SSC chief executive Frank Strang said: "After a three-year battle to win recognition for Unst's position as a prime location for launching small vertical rockets into space, we are now in a position to go to the public with our proposals."

Noting that questions would arise from the development, he told BBC Shetland they would "take ideas from the floor".

He said: "I've always said, from day one, this needs to be led by the community, since there will be also be community benefits".

In July, the test launch of a balloon in Shetland for a system that can deliver small satellites into orbit was hailed a success.

SSC joined forces with B2Space, a Bristol-based firm which developed the stratospheric balloon launch system known as rockoon.

The launch - described as the UK's first commercial spaceflight-related activity - saw the balloon soar 37km (23 miles) to the edge of the earth's atmosphere.

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