Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

RAF Space Command plans ‘surprise’ Highland spaceport developers

Undated handout illustration issued by NORR Architects/HIE of a design for the UKs first spaceport, which is one step closer to being built, after plans were approved by Highland Council. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday June 26, 2020. The spaceport would launch up to 12 times a year, sending small satellites into space, with launches taking place from as early as 2022. See PA story SCIENCE Spaceport. Photo credit should read: NORR Architects/HIE/PA Wire

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Undated handout illustration issued by NORR Architects/HIE of a design for the UKs first spaceport, which is one step closer to being built, after plans were approved by Highland Council. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday June 26, 2020. The spaceport would launch up to 12 times a year, sending small satellites into space, with launches taking place from as early as 2022. See PA story SCIENCE Spaceport. Photo credit should read: NORR Architects/HIE/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Spaceport developers in the Highlands and Islands were caught unawares by Boris Johnson’s proposal to create a new “RAF Space Command”, it is understood.

The prime minister announced the plan on Thursday, while linking it to well-established projects that aim to launch rockets from sites in Scotland.

However, The Press and Journal understands that organisations behind some of the vertical-launching schemes were not consulted on the move.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has stated in the past that its Space Hub Sutherland development, near Tongue, would not be a military facility.

In a statement in the Commons on Thursday, Mr Johnson said: “We will establish a new centre dedicated to artificial intelligence, and a new RAF Space Command, launching British satellites and our first rocket from Scotland in 2022.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) aims to establish the new Space Command next year, and it will be based at RAF High Wycombe, alongside RAF Air Command.

It will have a commander, be staffed from all three services as well as the civil service and commercial sector, looking at space operations, workforce generation, and capabilities.

It would work alongside the MoD’s recently formed Space Directorate, which will be responsible for policy, strategy and cross-government and international coordination.

Progress hailed

A UK Government spokesman said: “Spaceports offer an exciting route to enhance the future prosperity of the UK and we welcome the progress being made by the UK Space Agency.

“Spaceports will provide opportunity for a range of customers, especially in the context of improving global communications and data sharing.”

Talmine on the Kyle of Tongue, close to the proposed site of the new spaceport on A’Moine in Sutherland.

Earlier this year a spokesman for HIE said: “We expect satellites launched from Sutherland to be used for telecommunications and Earth observation, including weather mapping and gathering data to monitor climate change.

“Just like an airport, a spaceport will cater for a range of customers.

“It will be the job of the launch site operator, once one is appointed, to decide who these customers should be.

“All uses of the launch site will of course be covered by relevant UK and Scottish legislation and monitored by the appropriate regulators.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]