Published by Sky News, 27 August 2021
Spaceport 1’s site at Scolpaig, North Uist is one of several proposed locations for licenced spaceports in the UK. In Scotland, these include Unst in Shetland, the A’ Mhoine peninsula in Sutherland, Prestwick in South Ayrshire and Campbeltown in Argyll and Bute.
A commercial rocket has launched from the UK ahead of the planned opening of a spaceport.
Named ADA, the rocket blasted off from Benbecula Airport in the Western Isles on Thursday.
Spaceport 1 joined forces with East Anglian firm Gravitilab Aerospace Services to launch the flight test vehicle, named after Ada Lovelace, the 19th century English mathematician who is considered the world’s first computer programmer.
Spaceport 1 is a consortium that plans to open a spaceport in the Western Isles at Scolpaig, North Uist in 2022, for commercial, sub-orbital space launches.
Mark Roberts, Spaceport 1 programme director, said: “This is a historic moment for Spaceport 1, the Outer Hebrides, Scotland and the UK.”
Gravitilab aims to make space more accessible by providing reliable and affordable microgravity research and testing services.
ADA is the company’s first rocket designed for this purpose.
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