THE SHETLAND SPACE CENTRE

SSC plans to build and operate a satellite launch site in Unst, Shetland, the UK’s most northerly island. It follows the identification in a major report for the UK Space Agency of Saxa Vord in Unst as the best location in the country for such a facility. SSC has already received expressions of interest from commercial firms and the military and is working with the local community and planning authorities on detailed proposals.
 
The Rationale

The Rationale

Saxa Vord in Unst, home to new RAF radar technology monitoring Northern Europe, has been identified in a report for the UK Space Agency as the location that will allow maximum payloads on rockets transporting satellites into space.

The Launch Site

The Launch Site

SSC has identified a site and locations for ancillary support systems, and is working towards securing planning permissions for the necessary construction works.

The Future

The Future

The aim is to have a fully functioning satellite launch facility in place by mid-2020, with logistical support allowing commercial and military clients able to operate from Unst.

Saxa Vord, Unst

Originally Saxa Vord was built as a home-from-home for the families of the RAF personnel that manned the nearby radar station. Its composition and location ensured inclusion with the close-knit community of Unst. Closure of the radar station in the early 2000s led to depopulation and since then there has been a pressing need for an uplift in economic activity to ensure young people continue to live on the island.

Diversification has been aided by the transformation of Saxa Vord into a holiday resort and the creation of a gin and whisky distillery on the site. The Shetland Space Centre marks the next stage in the economic evolution of the UK’s most northerly island.

 

Learn More

 

 

 

Testimonials

SCEPTRE Report for the UK Space Agency

The site offering the maximum payload mass to orbit is Saxa Vord in the Shetlands, from where direct launch is possible to SSO and Polar orbits.