The new spaceport on Shetland has now been given planning permission.

It is at quite a high latitude (60 degrees north) which will effect the types of launch that are easily achievable so what is the target market for this facility?


1 Answer 1


According to the Institution of Engineering and Technology:

Three launchpads will be built at the SaxaVord spaceport, allowing for the launch of small satellites into either polar or Sun-synchronous low-Earth orbits.

Polar orbits have inclinations between 60° and 90° are mainly used for Earth observation, weather and even some telecomms. Sun-synchronous orbits have an inclination of around 8° from the pole, and pass over the same point at the same time each day.

The BBC article also mentions the possibility of sub-orbital sounding launches, which are usually used for research purposes

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I don't think sun-synchronous orbits have an inclination of 8 degrees. $\endgroup$ Mar 9, 2022 at 12:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @mhoran_psprep You're right, I should have written "8 degrees from the pole", I'll correct it, thanks. $\endgroup$ Mar 9, 2022 at 14:58

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