by Skyrora Team

Shetland Space Center - satellite lift-off platform

Shetland Space Centre satellite lift-off timetable receives 2 million pounds of funding

£2 million grant

The Shetland Space Centre (SSC) has been granted a £2 million grant for its development project to create "Great Britain's unique space launching platform".
Financing of £2,050,000 from Leonne Intl, which is a leading international corporate finance company, has been secured to assist in the design for a proposed space lift-off platform and land base at Saxa Vord, Unst.
The major capital contribution will provide the firm with a 20% stake in the operation of the facility, which is due to include a space launching site and a land operating center before the end of 2021.
One year after SSC's initial objective "to be in possession of a full-function space launching system by 2020".

Why Scotland?

Best place for satellites launch

According to the latest information from an external study published in 2017 on behalf of the UK Space Agency (UKSA), Saxa Vord was found to be the most suitable site in the United Kingdom for the deployment of mini-satellites to space, although other Scottish locations in Sutherland and the Western Isles were also taken into account.

More lift-off locations

Whilst SSC has indicated plans to construct the UK's only satellite launching site, UKSA stated that there was scope for multiple vertical lift-off locations in Scotland.
UKSA stated: "We fully endorse the aspirations of all possible launch station sites and we applaud Shetland's relationship with Leonne International.
The availability of several vertical lift-off locations in Scotland is a demonstration of the strength of the UK's dynamic space industry and puts Britain at the leading edge of Europe's space exploration industry.


Independently, UKSA stated for 2018 that it was going to endorse the Highland and Islands Enterprise (HIE) suggestions for a vertical lift-off location at Sutherland, with UKSA and HIE having committed millions to support this development. The planning proposal for the Sutherland space center was released in February 2020 by Highland Council.

Private investments in space research

UKSA has made no financial contribution to the Shetland Space Centre but has rather attracted outside funding from individual companies to support those suggested changes.

Shetland Space Center Chairman about private shareholding

SSC Chairman Frank Strang stated that the Space Center is "very pleased" to welcome the private investment firm to become a shareholder in the company saying that it will contribute to "bringing advantages of space research to Britain and the Shetland Islands industry: creating employment, stimulating industry, drawing customers as well as positioning the Shetland Islands as a North Hub that promotes vertical lift-off as well as the functioning of the land station".
«Importantly, the funding will allow the first steps to be taken towards securing the approvals and permits needed for running this system as well as continuing the ongoing construction of our lift-off platform and land station".

Leonne Intl to invest in Shetland

Michael Haston, who is known online as "The Scottish Wonder Kid", is the executive manager of Leonne International.
He stated: "We consistently look forward to working with companies that demonstrate passion, commitment, and leadership and The Shetland Space Centre surpasses these standards through the way they have planned their spacecraft launching campaign”.
“With the assistance provided by the SSC, the Shetlands' space industry is quite exceptional and is bound to be a highly beneficial resource for the United Kingdom”.
Todd Rupert, a consultant to Leonne International and a member of the executive management group, is equally an Executive director of the Space Centre.
The Shetland Space Centre, located in the highland city of Grantown On Spey, expects no significant ecological problems with the construction work on the base in Unst. However, there are plans to create a “Clear Space Center".

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