Scotland's first spaceport could launch its first rocket by 2020

Mail Online | 10/15/2018 | Harry Pettit For Mailonline
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Britain's first spaceport will launch its first rocket in 2020, according to developers at US firm Lockheed and Martin, which is developing the site.

The project in Sutherland, on Scotland's north coast, is running well ahead of schedule.

Launches - Rockets - Satellites - Passenger - Trips

It will initially host launches of rockets and satellites, but commercial passenger trips could then follow, handing adventurous Brits the chance to pay for flights to space.

The announcement comes after research warned Scotland's plans to build Europe's first spaceport risked being overtaken by similar projects in Scandinavia.

Lockheed - Martin - Scotland - Launch

Lockheed Martin had previously said Scotland's first launch was scheduled for the 'early 2020s'.

Northern Europe is the ideal spot to launch satellites and other space gadgets into polar orbits - trajectories that pass over both of Earth's poles.

Paths - Sunlight - Batteries - Transmission - Signals

The orbital paths offer constant sunlight for solar-powered batteries as well as clear transmission signals to Earth for satellites.

Scotland's A'Mhòine peninsula, in Sutherland, is one of several locations vying to build a spaceport in the region, with rival bids also launched in Norway and Sweden.

UK - Space - Agency - Competition - Scotland

The UK Space Agency believes European competition would heavily hamper Scotland's efforts to become a world leader in satellite launches.

Research commissioned by the agency warned last week that the success of the project hinges on it being the first to send satellites to space.

UK - Market - Success - Launch - Programme

'The UK must be first to market to ensure the long-term success of the launch programme,' the consultancy Frost & Sullivan said in a business case.

'First-mover advantage will be significant in the short and mid-terms as there will not be many such business models in operation.'

United - States - Scotland - Satellites - Country

Outside of the United States, Scotland produces more satellites than any country, with the...
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