Proposed spaceports surrounding Norwegian Sea,
updated to include Esrange spaceport in Sweden.
According to a report in the British press today, construction of the SaxaVord spaceport on the Shetland Islands has stopped because of lack of funds.
Shetland-based DITT declined to comment but sources have confirmed its bills have not been paid. A source said: “This is a huge construction project and you need to have the money to complete it.
…“DITT’s bills stopped being paid and so the company had no choice but to stop work until things are resolved. It would be great to see rockets blasting off into outer space from Shetland, but at the moment it seems more pie in the sky.”
This lack of work was noted in August by a local Shetland new source. It is now three months later and the work stoppage still continues.
The article also noted this comment from a SaxaVord official: “SaxaVord continues to have excellent dialogue with the authorities and is fully expecting to receive its spaceport licence very soon from the Civil Aviation Authority [CAA].” That license application however was submitted in November 2022, one full year ago. Apparently the CAA is doing the same to SaxaVord that it did to Virgin Orbit. With Virgin Orbit the CAA delayed issuing its launch permit by more than six months, during which the company could do no launches, make no money, and eventually went bankrupt when that launch failed and it no longer had the resources to recover.
Now the CAA is twiddling its thumbs for so long in issuing SaxaVord its spaceport license that launch business is shifting elsewhere and the spaceport is beginning to run short of cash. In January spaceport officials had predicted the first launch there would occur by the fall of this year. The fall is now passing and there is no sign of any launch soon, with construction halted.
Expect the business that was originally intended for the two British spaceports in Scotland to increasingly shift elsewhere. The spaceports at Andoya in Norway and Esrange in Sweden have an opportunity to pick up some business.
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