A typical satellite launch site.



Contrary to popular perception, satellite launch sites are relatively small in area. The attraction of Unst for companies that launch rockets to deliver satellites into space is that the safest, least obstructed route into orbit from the UK is north of the island.

In support of this, Shetland Space Company has:

  • Development land at Baltasound Airfield
  • Accommodation at Saxa Vord Resort
  • MOD Radar nearby 
  • An accessible site to launch from
  • Co-operation between landowners
  • Expertise in downstream servicing and fabrication
  • Proven track record of delivering big projects.

How would the launch site operate?

  • The companies that launch rockets require a bespoke launch facility
  • This operates much the same way as an airport, although with far fewer flights
  • Launch companies would be considered similar to airlines using an airport, which would be managed and serviced by an operator. In this case, the operator would be the Shetland Space Centre.