Shetland Space Centre and Raptor Aerospace Ltd today announced a long-term strategic partnership that will allow both companies to make rapid progress in UK launch activities.
Raptor, based in Norfolk in the east of England, will be delivering training and simulation services to Shetland Space Centre to assist in getting the spaceport launch ready within months.
Raptor has also announced their selection of the Shetland site as their preferred location for all future UK launch activities, including regular sub-orbital payload carrying flights set to begin in 2020.
Ben Jarvis, CEO of Raptor Aerospace, said: “Having looked at all of the possible vertical spaceport sites in the UK it’s simply the right decision for our business to choose the one that is closest to being ready for launch activities to begin.
“The Shetland site already has the facilities and offers the safest clear downrange area for us, making it viable to start launching almost immediately.”
“Frank Strang and the team at SSC have been both welcoming and enthusiastic about what we can offer each other and we can see a hugely beneficial commercial partnership developing between us.”
Frank Strang, CEO of Shetland Space Centre, said: “We’re naturally delighted to be working with Ben and his go-ahead team and look forward to progressing developments in Unst as we capitalise on all the natural attributes that Shetland has for the launch of small satellites into space.”
Raptor Aerospace hope to set up a permanent launch facility at the Shetland site in early 2020 and begin high-altitude commercial payload launches within months.