NORR, along with Arup Engineers and erz landscape architects, has designed the UK’s first satellite launch Space Hub in Sutherland, Scotland. The project will see vehicles carrying commercial satellites launched vertically into space for earth observation. NORR is supporting Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) on the venture.
The rural and naturally significant site for the $21.8 million project presents numerous challenges. The flora, fauna, and scenery behind the natural significance of the area have been considered as part of the spaceport’s design and construction.
The project includes a launch operation and control center, a launch site integration facility, a single launch pad, an antenna park, and associated site infrastructure.
Last year, the Space Hub gained consent from the Highland Council. “Gaining planning approval from the council is a huge step forward for Space Hub Sutherland. The UK’s space ambitions present a wonderful opportunity for the Highlands and Islands,” said David Oxley, Director of Business Growth with HIE, in a release. “A vertical launch spaceport is a key piece of the national jigsaw, along with the design and manufacture of satellites and launch vehicles, that will ensure Scotland can derive maximum economic benefits from this growing and exciting sector.” The first launch from the site could be as early as 2022.
In addition to the vertical launch site in Scotland, NORR is also designing a horizontal launch site at Glasgow Prestwick Airport.