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Business / Canadian company intends to use Unst space centre

Lamba Ness in Unst where Shetland Space Centre proposes to build a commercial satellite launch base. Photo: Shetland Space CentreLamba Ness in Unst where Shetland Space Centre proposes to build a commercial satellite launch base. Photo: Shetland Space Centre

ANOTHER company has signed a letter of intent to use the proposed Shetland Space Centre (SSC) as a primary satellite launch facility.

Canadian business C6 Launch said Unst provides the “latitude we need to insert nano satellites to the perfect orbit”.

It comes after another space company, Edinburgh-based Skyrora, undertook a test rocket launch at Fethaland in Shetland ahead of potentially using the Unst facility.

C6 Launch’s initial orbital launch capability is being designed for 30kg payloads to be delivered into a nominal 600km Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).

Other orbits, altitudes and payloads are also planned.

C6 Launch will provide dedicated launch capacity for nano and CubeSat operators on demand.

Shetland Space Centre will house all launch operation facilities, payload processing and integration/assembly facilities, multiple launch pads and a variety of operational and security services.

Richard McCammon, president of C6 Launch, said: “In SCC, C6 Launch finds a perfect partner. Shetland Space Centre will provide all the infrastructure from launchpad to data communications and tracking that we could ask for.”

Shetland Space Centre CEO Frank Strang said: “We are looking forward greatly to this collaboration with C6 Launch Systems.

“Richard and his team have been very clear about their needs and hugely supportive of our plans to provide a route to market for small satellites here in Shetland.”

Shetland Space Centre recently completed its first community consultation as part of the process toward approval and licensing of launch operations by the UK Government.

It expects to complete all submissions to the UK Government by the autumn of this year in order to be approved for launch operations in 2021.

The company plans to provide satellite launch facilities at Lamba Ness in Unst.

It was revealed earlier this week that SSC also has an interest in taking over Scatsta Airport once it closes this month.