ABL Space Systems will conduct a launch for Lockheed Martin from a new spaceport in the Shetland Islands, fulfilling an agreement with the British government announced in 2018.
The U.K. Space Agency will provide $9.5 million for infrastructure at a British airport that seeks to host Virgin Orbit’s air-launch system.
The U.K. Space Agency and a local government announced plans June 4 to invest in facilities at a British airport to support launch operations by Virgin Orbit.
Lockheed VP: “As the UK develops its space industry further, I think you’ll see bigger economics from the mini-satellites and the value they create from data."
While Lockheed Martin continues to suggest it will use Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket at a Scottish launch site announced at the beginning of this week, company officials said July 17 they have yet to formally select a vehicle to fly at the site.
A British company has released new details about a small satellite launch vehicle it expects to have ready in the next few years, part of a growing number of ventures seeking to build and launch rockets from the country.
The consortium has met with local officials and submitted a proposal to the U.K. Space Agency, with a goal of having the facility operational by 2020.
The UK Space Agency said the grants are worth up to £10 million ($12.5 million) but launches must begin by 2020.
The British government has emphatically endorsed its investment in the 22-nation European Space Agency and rejected a parliamentary proposal that its space budget be more evenly divided between ESA and a national program.
The British government has awarded feasibility-study contracts to five industrial teams that want to operate orbital or suborbital launch vehicles from British territory on a commercial basis.