News of a multi-million pound investment by Wildland Limited, owned by environmentalist billionaire Anders Povlsen, in Scottish spaceports situated near sensitive environmental sites was welcomed by UK space launch firm Orbex today as a significant reversal of position and an acknowledgement that spaceports and wildland environments can happily co-exist.
"This investment by Wildland and renowned environmentalist Anders Povlsen is a massive vote of confidence in Sutherland spaceport," said a spokesperson from Orbex. "We're absolutely delighted that Wildland and Mr Povlsen have completely reversed their position, and now fully agree that small, sustainable spaceports like Sutherland can peacefully co-exist with wildland environments, avian sanctuaries and marine mammals. We look forward to a much larger investment in the spaceport at Sutherland, which has many fewer environmental constraints, in due course."
Sutherland spaceport is the only UK spaceport to win planning permission to date, after an extensive environment study lasting almost 3 years and close scrutiny from agencies such as Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. Construction of the small, sustainable spaceport at Sutherland is expected to start in 2021.
Orbex, which operates factories and test sites in Scotland, has secured contracts for 6 launches of commercial satellites from Sutherland.