Ex-RAF base on Shetland Isles becomes UK’s first licensed spaceport for vertical rocket launches

A FORMER RAF base on a remote island yesterday became the UK’s first licensed spaceport for vertical rocket launches.

The Civil Aviation Authority has approved the SaxaVord Spaceport, paving the way for its first launches in 2024.

PA

The Civil Aviation Authority has approved the SaxaVord Spaceport[/caption]

The first rocket will be launched from the Shetland site in 2024

Catering for firms looking to put satellites into orbit, it will be allowed to send up 30 rockets a year.

So far, £30million has been spent on the site on Unst in Scotland’s Shetland Isles — bought in 2004 by Frank and Debbie Strang.

He said: “Our team is very proud that the Government has entrusted us with operating a complex, multi-disciplinary and multi-launch spaceport, and we all take this responsibility very seriously.

“There is much to do still but this is a fantastic way to end the year and head into Christmas.”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said the announcement puts the UK at “the forefront of spaceflight innovation”.

He said: “The United Kingdom’s space industry is growing, with SaxaVord set for lift-off to become this country’s first vertical spaceport.

“Today’s historic announcement will boost Shetland’s economy and put the United Kingdom at the forefront of spaceflight innovation.”

So far, £30million has been spent on the site
How a rocket might look taking off from SaxaVord Spaceport

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