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Business / Scatsta to play host to more rocket testing

Engine testing at Scatsta in May last year.

MORE rocket testing is due to take place at the former Scatsta Airport next month.

The Shetland community safety and resilience board heard on Thursday that the static tests, which will be carried out by German company HyImpulse, would take place in mid-March.

The fire service’s Matt Mason said it would be “quite an audible and visible sight” for people passing by.

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But he said the relevant agencies have been made aware of the tests well in advance.

HyImpulse previously carried out static rocket testing – which does not see anything launched into the air – at Scatsta last year in conjunction with SaxaVord Spaceport.

Mason has also been involved in emergency planning for the proposed spaceport in Unst and he said he is reassured that vertical rocket launching is an “incredibly safe” process.

Meanwhile the fire service confirmed at the meeting that it will be using the Scatsta site for training for the next six months.

Exercises were held at the site last year to give officers realistic, hands-on training.

The fire service’s Raymond Fallon said he hoped it could be a “continuous six months”, but he suggested it comes down to finance for the landowner Shetland Islands Council – and he claimed other organisations with “big bucks”, such as space companies, could get priority.

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