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Scottish spaceports “months away from liftoff”

According to the Scottish Government, two Scottish spaceports will not launch into orbit for several months.

To provide ministers and businesses with guidance on how to maximise potential for the industry, a new expert group has been established.

Scots with ties to the global space industry make for the Scotland International Space Advisory Committee (Sisac).

From the A’Mhoine peninsula in Sutherland, a company by the name of Orbex wants to launch commercial satellites using its Prime rocket.

The Shetland Islands’ SaxaVord spaceport will be utilised by a number of businesses, including Edinburgh-based Skyrora.

The Scottish Government said the first orbital launches from both sites are expected in 2023.

Business minister Ivan McKee said: “Space brings great opportunity for Scotland in terms of the economic development it delivers, its relevance for the climate change agenda and the power it has to inspire the next generation.

“That is why the Scottish Government has identified it as a priority in our National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

“The space sector is a key opportunity for the future and we will continue to build on our strengths.

“The expertise and insight offered by the members of Sisac will be hugely beneficial to our progress.

“I am grateful to the members of this new committee for volunteering to come together to help Scotland live up to its full potential in growing the space sector.”

In 2021, ministers made it a goal for the Scottish space industry to achieve a £4bn in share of the global market and create 20,000 jobs by 2030.

Joanna Peters, chief executive of StratConGlobal in Colorado, is Sisac’s chairwoman.

She said: “It is the intent of the Sisac to help fuel and ignite a national passion toward a space-based economy by capitalising on its strong heritage of exploration, innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Working with the GlobalScot organisation and our network of national and international leaders, we aim to develop strategic recommendations, building upon precise and transparent advocacy, influence, consultation and development.”

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