Shetland and Cornwall firms join forces to further UK space activity

Two UK space companies have joined forces to develop rocket launch technology.

Two UK space companies have joined forces to develop rocket launch technology. Picture: Ian Jones/PA Wire

Shetland Space Centre (SSC) and Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall will work on improving capabilities to track data and bring it back to Earth.

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The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) committing them to collaborate on a range of projects as the UK’s space sector flourishes.

Frank Strang, chief executive of SSC, said: “As soon as we met the team from Goonhilly, we all recognised that there are potentially huge benefits from collaborating.

“We have a shared drive and determination to increase the footprint of the UK space industry from launches on UK soil to a huge range of ground station activities.”

Ian Jones, chief executive of Goonhilly, said: “We’re really looking forward to working with the Shetland Space Centre team at this hugely exciting time in the development of UK launch activity.

“I think it’s obvious that Shetland is recognised as the best location by key launch companies.

“The team at SSC have the skills and determination to make this a viable business opportunity.”

Projects include working together to support both Shetland’s and Cornwall’s aspirations for vertical and horizontal UK space launches.

In horizontal launches, projectiles take off in a similar way a plane does from a runway.

The firms will jointly promote and deliver launch, monitoring and tracking capabilities from the two sites.