Scotland’s Space Industry Working Towards Launching Satellites

Scotland’s space industry has committed to taking more actions to reduce its impact on the environment.

The newly-published Space Sustainability: A Roadmap for Scotland, external sets out plans to use alternatives to toxic fuels and develop reusable rockets.

The report said Scottish-based manufacturers were already working on “green propellants” for powering small rockets into space.

It said Edinburgh-headquartered Skyrora and Forres-based Orbex were repurposing waste from biodiesel production and using non-recyclable plastics to make fuel.

Skyrora is working towards launching satellites from a spaceport in Shetland, and Orbex from one in Sutherland.

The roadmap also includes a commitment to reduce space debris – fragments of broken old satellites and rockets littering Earth’s orbit.

University of Strathclyde has been working on microsatellites with sensors for detecting and analysing how they fragment during atmospheric re-entry.

Space Scotland’s Environmental Task Force, space strategy firm AstroAgency and Glasgow-based Optimat developed the strategy with funding from Scottish Enterprise.

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