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Lockheed Martin Develops UK Launch Operations From Shetland Space Centre

By | October 23, 2020

Photo: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin revealed Thursday that it will develop U.K. launch operations from Shetland Space Centre. The U.K. Space Agency confirmed that Lockheed Martin’s plans to move its U.K. Pathfinder Launch to the Shetland site at Lamba Ness on Unst would continue to deliver long-term value and help establish a sustainable, commercial launch market as part of the U.K.’s spaceflight program – LaunchUK. Lockheed Martin first started working with the U.K. Space Agency on a launch program in 2018.

Shetland Space Centre anticipates that by 2024, the spaceport site could support a total of 605 jobs in Scotland including 140 locally and 210 across the wider Shetland region. A further 150 jobs will also be created through wider manufacturing and support services.

Additionally, Lockheed Martin is in discussions with a preferred partner to provide launch services for its U.K. Pathfinder Launch, which would take place from Shetland Space Centre.

Nik Smith, U.K. country executive at Lockheed Martin said: “Space has a significant role to play in generating economic growth, creating high-skilled jobs and tackling global challenges, from climate change to the spread of infectious diseases. The ability to launch small satellites for Earth Observation (EO) and communications will boost U.K. efforts to tackle these challenges by providing valuable tools and data that can help analyze and predict impacts and support effective decisions and mitigation strategies … The UK’s spaceflight program – LaunchUK – is working with a range of additional partners to establish commercial vertical and horizontal small satellite launch from U.K. spaceports including Spaceport Cornwall and Virgin Orbit.”