Astra Space, Inc and SaxaVord UK Spaceport today announced that they are partnering to increase access to space, by providing dedicated orbital launch services to a growing satellite market. Subject to the entry of definitive agreements and regulatory approvals, rocket launches are expected to begin in 2023.
“This agreement between SaxaVord Spaceport and Astra is great news for Shetland and represents another step towards our shared ambition of bringing vertical launch satellite capability to Scotland,” said Ivan McKee, Scottish Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise. “Companies like this are vital to achieving the aims of our National Strategy for Economic Transformation that will support a nation of entrepreneurs and innovators in areas like small satellite technology and Scotland’s growing space industry.”
With its flexible, mobile approach, Astra can transport and connect a fully functional launch system to a simple concrete pad for launches. SaxaVord UK Spaceport would expand Astra’s capacity at key inclinations. Together, they are expected to accelerate access to space for customers launching in the UK.
“Astra is an agile, fast-moving company on pace to establish a successful track record,” said Robin Huber, Director of Business Development at SaxaVord UK Spaceport. “We look forward to working with their team to build new launchcapabilities in the UK. Their mission to improve life on Earth from space is closely aligned with our own values, and we believe that this exciting new relationship will develop into a strong, lasting partnership.”
“The additional inclinations, flexibility and launch capacity that this partnership enables will allow us to meet the needs of Astra’s customers and align directly with SaxaVord UK Spaceport’s economic investment and environmental goals,” said Matt Ganser, Vice President of Business Operations at Astra. “We are excited to work with this partner to open another spaceport from which we would hope to meet the growing demand for dedicated launch out of the UK.”
“This new partnership between Astra and SaxaVord UK Spaceport is another great example of the strong interest from the international space community in operating from UK spaceports,” said Matt Archer, Director of Commercial Space at the UK Space Agency. “By attracting global partners and developing a home-grown launch industry, we can cater for the diverse needs of small satellite manufacturers and operators, while benefitting people and businesses across the UK. It is fantastic to welcome Astra into the UK’s thriving launch community.”
Photo: Astra orbital payload mission from Kodiak Island, Alaska, March 2022. Deuel/Astra.