Major visit by Lockheed Martin team

SaxaVord UK Spaceport hosted a team from Lockheed Martin as detailed planning begins for the first vertical satellite launch next year.

Lockheed Martin is a global technology leader in aerospace, space and security and outlined its plans for what will be the first launch of its kind in Northern Europe. 

Representatives from the company’s UK and US based space business met local community representatives and Shetland Islands Council to share the latest developments in the programme, known as UK Pathfinder Launch, and solicit local opinions and views.  

UK Pathfinder Launch will be the first ever vertical small satellite launch from UK soil and also be the first UK commercial launch for US-based ABL Space Systems’ new RS-1 rocket.

Dr Scott Rodgers, programme execution director, Lockheed Martin Space, said: “We’re really excited to be here with the SaxaVord Spaceport team and meet with the local community in Unst and the Shetland Islands Council, as we progress our plans to hold the UK’s first vertical launch in 2022.”

The SaxaVord launch facility will eventually create circa 140 jobs in Unst and inject at least £4.9m per annum into the island’s economy. It will provide a further 70 jobs throughout Shetland, adding a further £2.9m in gross value to the economy.

Frank Strang, CEO of SaxaVord UK Spaceport, said: “We have had an excellent few days of engagement with the Lockheed Martin team as we combine forces to deliver the UK Pathfinder launch in 2022.

“They have affirmed to ourselves and the Unst and Shetland community their determination to succeed with this mission. We look forward to working closely with them in the year ahead.”

Lockheed Martin UK has operated in the UK for nearly 80 years. From postal sorting technology to helping build the UK’s first commercial spaceport, its innovations and partnerships help solve some of the UK’s most complex challenges, contributing to national defence, security and prosperity.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 114,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

Follow @LMUKNews on Twitter for the latest announcements and news from across its UK business. SaxaVord Spaceport is on Twitter @SaxaVord_Space.