Construction begins at UK’s first vertical launch spaceport
Rocket manufacturer Orbex, has announced that construction has begun at Sutherland Spaceport (formerly known as Space Hub Sutherland) in Scotland, which will be the first vertical launch spaceport to be built on the UK mainland.
Located on the north coast of Scotland, the spaceport will be the home of Forres-based rocket and launch services company, Orbex, which will use the site to launch up to 12 orbital rockets per year for the deployment of satellites into Earth’s orbit.
The groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction was attended by a number of officials and stakeholders including Richard Lochhead, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade for the Scottish Government, Ian Annett, Deputy CEO at the UK Space Agency, David Oxley, Director of Strategic Projects with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Dorothy Pritchard, Chair of Melness Crofters Estate.
Sutherland Spaceport is intended to become the first carbon-neutral spaceport in the world, both in its construction and its operation
The establishment of a commercial spaceport in Sutherland is expected to support around 250 new employment opportunities in the Highlands and Islands over the coming years, including 40 jobs in Sutherland and Caithness.
Kristian von Bengtson, Chief Development Officer and Interim CEO, Orbex, said: “Sutherland represents a new breed of spaceport, for a new breed of rocket. This is 21st century, agile spaceflight with sustainability at its core. With the construction of Sutherland Spaceport underway, this is an important piece of the puzzle that will make the UK a modern space nation. Just as importantly, we’re hopefully also setting the tone for how business can be a force for good, creating jobs and opportunities while minimising the impact upon the environment.”