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Business / Space centre launches a step nearer with new partnership

Scott Hammond of Shetland Space Centre (left) and Raptor Aerospace's Ben Jarvis.

AN AEROSPACE company has named Unst as its preferred location for all of its UK launch activities.

Norfolk based Raptor Aerospace and Shetland Space Centre also announced a “long-term strategic partnership that will allow both companies to make rapid progress in UK launch activities”.

Raptor will be delivering training and simulation services to Shetland Space Centre to assist in getting the proposed Unst based spaceport “launch ready within months.”

The company has also announced its selection of the Unst site as its preferred location for all future UK launch activities, including regular sub-orbital payload carrying flights set to begin in 2020.

Raptor Aerospace CEO Ben Jarvis said: “Having looked at all of the possible vertical spaceport sites in the UK it’s simply the right decision for our business to choose the one that is closest to being ready for launch activities to begin.

“The Shetland site already has the facilities and offers the safest clear downrange area for us, making it viable to start launching almost immediately.

“Frank Strang and the team at SSC have been both welcoming and enthusiastic about what we can offer each other and we can see a hugely beneficial commercial partnership developing between us.”

Shetland Space Centre chief Frank Strang said: “We’re naturally delighted to be working with Ben and his go-ahead team and look forward to progressing developments in Unst as we capitalise on all the natural attributes that Shetland has for the launch of small satellites into space.”

Raptor Aerospace hopes to set up permanent launch facilities at the Shetland site in early 2020 and begin high-altitude commercial payload launches within months.