Recently, more and more states are getting involved in the space race. And recently it became known that after more than 10 years of discussions the British government decided to build its first cosmodrome.
The location of the future facility was chosen by the district of Sutherland, peninsula A'Mhoine, which is in Scotland. This place was chosen not by chance, since it is a swampy and sparsely populated area, and the plateau itself is excellent for vertical launches of small satellites.
The Highlands and Islands Enterprise state development agency is responsible for the construction. According to the Minister of Economy of Great Britain Greg Clark, for the first stage of construction the state will allocate 2.5 million pounds. Other sources of financing will be the British company Orbex, which will spend 5.5 million pounds to build small new-type missiles. Also investing in the construction wants Lockheed Martin, which is ready to part with 23.5 million pounds to build the cosmodrome and launch the first rocket. The total cost of the project at the moment is estimated at 50 million pounds.
As for the main activity, small rockets will be launched from the launch site, which will be able to launch small satellites into orbit. They will be used for Internet communications, weather monitoring, navigation and so on. In addition to the vertical launch pad, a runway will also be created, from which modified commercial aircraft will be launched to transfer satellites. Construction of the cosmodrome in Scotland should be completed in 2020. Then the first launch will take place.