Rocket firm Skyrora plans Shetland launches

Edinburgh-based rocket company Skyrora said it has agreed a multi-launch deal with the SaxaVord spaceport on Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Islands, as it moves closer to launching its XL rocket in 2022.

“This is the first agreement Skyrora has made with a Scottish Spaceport,” said Skyrora.

“If successful, this could be the first rocket to go to space from the UK.

“The multi-launch agreement with SaxaVord will run for the next decade, giving Skyrora the ability to build towards their target of 16 launches a year by 2030.

“According to a study by Scottish Enterprise last year, forecast income from Scotland’s space sector could reach over £2 billion by 2030 with plans to double income to £4 billion while providing data solutions to combat climate change.”

Volodymyr Levykin, Skyrora’s founder and CEO, said: “We have made no secret of our ambition to be the first company to launch from UK soil so it’s really exciting to agree to this multi-launch deal with SaxaVord.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of space innovation in the UK, deploying our assets and helping to unlock exciting opportunities as part of the new space economy.

“The UK is a world leader in space technology, and this latest move brings us another crucial step closer to offering a significant space service from our own soil.”

Saxavord Spaceport CEO Frank Strang said: “As we look forward to launches from Unst next year, this is yet another exciting development and we look forward to working with the Skyrora team to help them meet their goal of delivering their XL rocket into orbit.

“The SaxaVord Spaceport location and the can-do attitude of our team mean we are perfectly placed to support Skyrora’s endeavours.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.