Sunday 14 April 2024
 5.8°C   WNW Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Space / Test exercise held at spaceport site but no launch due to weather

A “DRESS rehearsal” has been carried out by the SaxaVord Spaceport team – but it was scaled back somewhat due to the weather.

Staff say a “huge amount was learned” through the exercise, which was named Freya.

Weather conditions prevented the planned launch of a small-scale rocket in either of two “windows” agreed with airspace and maritime authorities on 6 and 7 July.

Freya was the first in a series of exercises leading up to full launch from Lamba Ness in Unst later this year.

Had the weather been favourable, a one metre, 3D-printed rocket named Odysseus would have been launched by members of the Oxford University Rocketry Society.

SaxaVord range officer Jimmy Slaughter said: “We learned an enormous amount from this dress rehearsal, which involved transporting the rocket to the site and setting it up on a launch rail, then running through all our procedures and protocols up to the point of launch.

“The decision not to launch, which is of course not uncommon in the space industry, was made for safety reasons based on very accurate forecasting from a representative of the Met Office on site.

“One of the main purposes of the launch was to test our procedures for notification and ongoing engagement with a range of stakeholders, including Police Scotland, NHS Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Marine Scotland, Civil Aviation Authority, local companies and members of the community.”

Plans are being made for a follow-up test exercise in the next few months.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.