Skyrora agrees rocket deal with Shetland spaceport
Skyrora conducted the first rocket test on UK soil in 50 years
Rocket company Skyrora has agreed a multi-launch deal with the SaxaVord spaceport on Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Islands, as it moves closer to take-off in 2022.
This is the first agreement Skyrora has made with a Scottish Spaceport. If successful, it could launch the first rocket into space from the UK.
The multi-launch agreement with SaxaVord will run for the next decade, giving Skyrora the ability to build towards its 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 more than £2 billion by 2030 with plans to double income to £4 billion while providing data solutions to combat climate change.
The launch agreement will create more jobs in an industry that has already grown 12% year-on-year while the UK as a whole has grown 3%.
Once operational, the SaxaVord spaceport is expected to create 140 jobs locally, with an additional 70 jobs across the Shetland. Shetland Space Centre recently changed its name to SaxaVord Spaceport, rebranding to position itself at the heart of the new space economy in Europe.
Skyrora has been testing increasingly larger rockets with short high-altitude launches since 2018 in the build up to the proposed launch next year. Last year, it conducted the first rocket test on UK soil in 50 years as well as launched its Skylark Micro from Iceland.
Commenting on the deal, 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.”
Frank Strang, CEO of Saxavord Spaceport, 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.”