Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Shetland Space Centre on Unst could be launching rockoons

I recently mentioned the recent surge in interest regarding a spaceport (or possibly more accurately, a vertical launch facility) which could be located in Sutherland.

There’s more activity up north, as it seems there are plans to set up a space centre in Shetland, and a feasibility study into the use of the island of Unst as the launch site for a new satellite balloon system. Such system use a gas-filled balloon to carry the rocket into the upper atmosphere, where it separates from the balloon and is ignited.

Shetland Space Centre has joined forces with B2Space, a Bristol-based firm, to develop a small satellite launcher based on such a stratospheric balloon known as a rockoon.

I’d read about such systems some years ago, but the problem then was the size of the payload, since the balloon has to be able to lift the whole rocket.

Today, with cubesats and similar small satellites, that is no longer an issue, and a number of companies are now working on such launch systems.

New balloon satellite study amid Shetland Space Centre plans

27/07/2018 - Posted by | Aviation, Transport | , , , , , ,

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