Orbex signs a lease agreement to build the UK’s first vertical spaceport

The British Missile Company signed Orbexwhich plans to launch its first vertical rocket from UK land next year, has a 50-year lease to develop and operate a spaceport in northern Scotland.

It is a space port, named Sutherland Space Centerone of two vertical launch sites currently being developed in Scotland, the second being SaxaVord Spaceport On the Shetland Islands, off the coast of mainland Scotland.

The UK can also accommodate horizontal launches (the launches of missiles that have been dropped at altitude by carrier aircraft such as the Virgin Orbit). cosmic girl jet” from Cornwall spaceportwhich is expected to host the first-ever orbital launch from UK soil later this month, according to Space.

Orbexwhich revealed the prototype of the platform president Reusable earlier this year is one of several rocket startups scrambling to capture a share of the growing small satellite launch market.

The company will rent Sutherland Space Center From a local development agency for an initial period of 50 years with an option to extend for another 25 years,

will start Orbex Coming soon construction at the 10-acre launch site on the peninsula moen In Sutherland, the bulk of the construction work will be contracted to Technology Solutions Jacobswhich also does a lot of work for NASA.

Chris Larmore, CEO of Orbex In a statement:Orbex It is the first European launch company to also operate a dedicated spaceport, which is an important competitive advantage for the company, which will make it really easy for us to work with customers as we scale our operations.”

imagine Orbex Launch up to 12 missiles into low Earth orbit from Sutherland Space Center Every year, but the company faces fierce competition from the company Sky Rora Scottish missile startup, which has committed to fly out of a rival Shetland Islands spaceport.

Launched Sky Rora Rocket Skylark L semi-orbital on October 8, but the booster missile failed to reach its intended height and fell into the sea shortly after take-off. Orbex £40.4m in Series A funding round c It was announced last October 18, and it has yet to perform its first flight.

Both companies are betting on renewable rocket fuel, as they use Orbex Natural gas from sustainable sources Sky Rora By conditioning non-recyclable plastic waste, Lockheed Martin and Astra also plan to offer small satellite launches from the UK.

faced Sutherland Space Center Previously, legal challenges where the billionaire owner of the property next door objected to the development, and the court rejected the objection in August 2021, and received Sutherland spaceport So plan shortly thereafter.

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