Edinburgh, 22 September 2021. – Prestwick Spaceport has secured a deal with launch partner Astraius yesterday, Prestwick Spaceport said. The Memorandum of Understanding will help boost Scotland’s space industry ambitions. The companies will work alongside Scottish and UK governments and other key partners to prepare for the launch of small satellites in 2023.
The legislation to support safe, sustainable spaceflight activities only passed in July as part of the Space Industry Act 2018. The agreement with the horizontal launch company is another milestone for the spaceport, marking the beginning of stakeholder engagement.
The design, infrastructure and launch capabilities at Prestwick are an important strategic asset for the UK. As Prestwick has strong transport links, regular launches will be easy to accommodate. South Ayrshire Council, a key partner in the development of the spaceport, invested £80m in the existing Prestwick Aerospace hub. The funding will be used to develop infrastructure which will create up to 4,000 new jobs.
Astraius has a presence in the UK and the US as well and will therefore benefit from the 2020 US-UK Technology Safeguards Agreement treaty. This legally binding agreement enables US companies to operate from UK spaceports. The company is able to perform multiple same day satellite launches and will therefore bring a lot of customers to Prestwick.