Welcome to the Radio Saxa Vord podcast, featuring our young hosts Emily Strang and Bryden Priest.


Tune in to find out more about Unst’s role in the UK space industry and about community life in Shetland. And hear some great music.


There are eight episodes in all in Season 1, and each new one will be available from 10am on Sunday mornings.


You can download the latest episode by clicking the button below. 



Podcast Season 01

Episode 01 – Pilot – 2nd May 2021

Welcome to Shetland Space Centre’s very own podcast, Radio Saxa Vord. In the first episode of Season 1, young hosts Emily Strang and Bryden Priest introduce themselves, Shetland and Unst, which is set to become the home of space launch in the UK next year. And there’s music from Aly Bain. There will be eight episodes in all in the first Season.



Episode 02 – The Shetland Space Centre – 9th May 2021

In episode two, our young hosts Emily and Bryden speak to Scott Hammond, Chief Operating Officer of Shetland Space Centre. They hear about the plans to turn Unst into the UK’s spaceport of choice, the development of the company, the plans for the future, the Scottish space industry, and why Unst is the best location for a space centre.



Episode 03 – Shetland and the Pandemic – 16th May 2021

This week Emily’s and Bryden’s guest is Jim McConnachie of NHS Shetland, and he’ll be talking about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Shetland and the space industry. Music is from James Salestrom, renowned US musician and son of Jim Salestrom, guitarist for Dolly Parton. Both visited Unst for the Shetland Reel Festival in 2015.



Episode 04 – Growing Up In Shetland – 23rd May 2021

This week’s podcast features special guest Drew Garrick, a Shetlander studying for his PhD in Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. Hosts Emily and Bryden hear about Drew’s experience growing up in a remote part of Shetland, his transition to life in Glasgow, how he ended up choosing his career path and his dreams for opportunities in the space sector in Shetland.




Episode 05 – Space and the Environment – 30th May 2021

We hope you have been enjoying our podcasts with young hosts Emily and Bryden. This week’s episode features Ruth Fain of ITP Energised, who was heavily involved in carrying out the very detailed environmental impact study prepared as part of Shetland Space Centre’s planning application. The discussion centres on spaceport and all the steps that will be taken to minimise its impact on birdlife and sealife.




Episode 06 – Music in Shetland – 06th June 2021

In the latest episode of our podcast, Emily and Bryden talk to Davie Gardner, who is a music promoter and journalist. Shetland has a long history of producing world class musicians and is probably best known for its traditional music. Davie tells us about the wide diversity of music in Shetland and the opportunities musicians have to perform in Shetland through its varied calendar of festivals. To hear some of the musicians mentioned in this episode, head for YouTube.

Aly Bain https://youtu.be/6nbOaPN5toM
Ross Couper https://youtu.be/eaT520u7aVA
Catriona Macdonald https://youtu.be/vBh1jBla0TU

Artwork © Connie Dickie – category runner up in a Space Art competition run by Shetland Space Centre in 2020




Episode 07 – History of Unst – 13th June 2021

This week’s episode of the Saxa Vord podcast is all about local history through the eyes of people living in Shetland.

George Jamieson is an Unst resident and former head teacher of the Anderson High School in Lerwick, the largest school in the islands. Now retired, he recounts some memories of growing up in Unst, his school days during World War II and leaving the island to study and work. He has seen a lot of change over the years.

Emily and Bryden also interview Chris Dyer, archaeologist and military historian, who has made Shetland his home. He has a tremendous knowledge of historical sites in Shetland, including the headland at Lamba Ness, home to our launch site and to RAF Skaw during WWII.


Artwork © Rashik Saravanan – category runner up of a Space Art competition run by Shetland Space Centre in 2020

Music: Royal Air Force Music Services. UK Ministry of Defence © Crown copyright




Special Edition Podcast – MIKE MONGO’S ASTRONAUT JOB CAMP – 20th June 2021

In this special edition of the Radio Saxa Vord Podcast, Emily and Bryden are joined by Mike Mongo from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Mike is in Unst this summer working on the Astronaut Job Camp. We learn more about Mike’s journey to becoming an Astronaut Teacher and what his camp will look like. Mike and Bryden also discuss Mike’s experience in Shetland so far and why it is important for this camp to take place live from Unst.

Artwork © MIKE MONGO

Music: Golden Goals at the Gibby – Steven Spence





Episode 07 – Season Finale – 27th June 2021

That’s a wrap folks! In the final episode, our young hosts Emily and Bryden Recap the Season and share some laughs with Yvette Hopkins of the Shetland Space Centre.

Music by Jim Salestrom (Dolly Parton band member)
Artwork by Vaila Gunn