Scottish spaceport is a step closer

Jon Lawson
Impression of Space Hub Sutherland (Highlands and Islands Enterprise)

Space Hub Sutherland is the first vertical launch site to secure planning permission in Britain. The project manager, the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership has employed Jacobs to examine local engineering options, including the facilities available at the nearby Dounreay nuclear power generation site and the military tech used at Moray. The survey aims to see what engineering, asset management and avionics skills could be leveraged and adapted for the space port. It’s also going to consider the potential socio-economic impacts on the region.

Jacobs’ critical mission solutions international senior vice president Clive White observed, “Our research, economic modelling and strategy planning will identify what needs to be done to create a space cluster of specialised industries in northern Scotland, supported by supply chain, local skills and talent, and infrastructure capable of sustaining its growth. With estimates that the UK’s space industry will be worth US$5.6 billion (£4 billion) by 2030, this is a huge opportunity for the area with the potential to create many high-value jobs. During this project, we will leverage our teams supporting NASA, where Jacobs is the largest services provider.”

If the plans work out low-earth orbit comms satellites could be launched next year from a site on the Mhòine Peninsula, carried by the Scottish-made Orbex Prime low-carbon fuel rocket. 

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