Preswick Scottish spaceport continues to push forward with Smallsat launch plans – SatNews


the South Ayrshire Council in Preswick, Scotland, began the process of submitting a formal planning application for the Prestwick Spaceport development.

Aerial view of Prestwick Aerospace.

the Nomination proposal notice (POAN) is the first step in the Prestwick Spaceport planning process and signals the intention to apply for a building permit in early 2022. The submission of the POAN follows the Council’s submission of a Environmental impact assessment screening report last year, this confirms that Prestwick’s space ambitions will not have significant negative effects on the environment.

Launches from Prestwick will be done using a horizontal or aerial launch, in which an aircraft will carry a rocket containing small satellites a long distance at high altitude above the ocean. Once safely beyond populated areas and above the densest layer of the atmosphere, the rocket leaves the plane, fires its engines, and carries its payload into orbit.

Launch operations at Prestwick will primarily consist of processing rockets and their payloads, loading them onto a launch aircraft, and then conventional aircraft take-offs will occur from existing airport runways.

To provide horizontal launch capability, which until now has never been accessible anywhere in Europe, Prestwick Spaceport signed a memorandum of understanding with Astreius, a UK-based horizontal commercial launch company that will launch rockets from standard transport aircraft requiring no modifications and be able to place small satellites in various orbits.

These small satellites can be used for a multitude of applications, such as monitoring climate change or tracking food supply chains to ensure that products in supermarkets come from sustainable sources. The city of Glasgow, Scotland already designs and manufactures more cubesats than any other city outside of the United States.

Prestwick aims to complete the first rocket launch by the end of 2023, a goal backed by the Ayrshire Growth Deal, a multi-million pound funding that was signed last year. £ 80million from the growth agreement is dedicated to securing Ayrshire’s future as a leading region in the UK’s aerospace and space engineering industries.

Satellite launches from Prestwick, along with other measures in the Ayrshire Growth Deal, will create many opportunities beyond the launch, such as establishing a high-tech space supply chain in the region to complement the existing aerospace cluster, creating up to 4,000 jobs for the local economy. The horizontal launch from Prestwick will give Ayrshire the opportunity to be at the forefront of satellite launches in the UK as well as in Europe.

To advise Peter Henderson, Head of South Ayrshire Council, said: “Prestwick Spaceport has taken a new step forward by filing a POAN for its development. POAN is initiating the process for Prestwick Spaceport to submit its formal planning request later this year. This follows Prestwick Spaceport obtaining a launch supplier, Astraius, in September last year. By finding a launch partner and starting the planning process, South Ayrshire is well on its way to establishing Prestwick Spaceport and securing an exciting future for our local communities and making South Ayrshire part of the global space economy.. “

Zoe Kilpatrick, Glasgow Prestwick Airport Commercial Director said: “We are delighted to see the next stage of Prestwick Spaceport develop. We are building an industry in Ayrshire which will create jobs and investment for years to come. 2022 will see further developments as we partner with more organizations to develop and expand our space capabilities here at Glasgow Prestwick Airport. It’s a very exciting time to be involved with the project and I look forward to seeing the progress over the next few months as we approach our first launch in 2023.. “

The public will be invited to learn more about the spaceport planning application, ask questions about the proposed development, and provide feedback during public consultation events to be held in February and March.

Further details will be available prior to these public consultations. The aerospace and space project is funded by £ 32million from the UK government, £ 30million from the Scottish government and £ 18million from the South Ayrshire Council as part of the £ 251million Ayrshire Growth Deal – a ten-year joint investment program. funded by UK and Scottish governments and local authorities.


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