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British court dismisses billionaire’s lawsuit against Sutherland spaceport

A British judge today dismissed entirely [pdf] the lawsuit filed by billionaire Anders Povlsen, who had been trying to block the construction of a spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland, a region where he owns thousands of acres and is involved in many environmental issues.

Povlsen instead has been lobbying to have a spaceport instead built in the Shetland Islands, by a company he has invested in.

The ruling on all points went against Povlsen. The judge concluded:

Since I have held that none of the grounds of challenge is well founded it is unnecessary to [do anything], and I do not propose to do so (other than to say what I have already said….)

I shall sustain [the defense’s case and]… repel the petitioner’s pleas-in-law, and refuse the petition. I shall reserve meantime all questions of expenses.

This likely clears the way for construction of the Sutherland spaceport, from which the British smallsat rocket company Obex wants to launch. Lockheed Martin has said it would launch smallsats from Sutherland, but it has also said it would launch from Shetland too.

Povlsen’s opposition based on environmental concerns was of course a smokescreen to get this competing spaceport closed so that the one he has invested in in Shetland would get all the business. For more than three-quarters of a century launches have taken place at both the Kennedy and Vandenberg spaceports in the U.S., with neither doing any harm to the surrounding wildlife. Moreover, at Kennedy that spaceport forced the creation of a wildlife preserve, which prevented development. As long as they are operated with care and properly, spaceports are good for wildlife.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

One comment

  • Greg the Geologist

    Most readers probably already aware of this, but . . . Vandenberg AFB launch facilities not visible from public highways, so if you want a good view of it and the spectacular nearby coastline, take the Amtrak between Santa Barbara / Goleta and San Luis Obispo. Great ride!

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