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UK Space Agency funding awarded to MACC

27th Sep 2019

UK Minister for Science, Chris Skidmore, and the UK Space Agency announced a package of £488,000 for Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC), owners of a former RAF Airbase turned business park with airport near Campbeltown, Argyll & Bute. The funding will be used to explore horizontal spaceport development services from the site using UK based space technology companies.

The project will be led by MACC with consultancy support from UK Launch Services Limited and Grey Consultants Ltd with industry support from TAO Tech UK Ltd, specialists in High Altitude Platforms and Pseudo-satellites (HAP) , and Reaction Engines Limited, the UKs foremost developer of hypersonic engines and one of the UK’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain.

A MACC spokesperson stated; “We are delighted to have received this funding from the UK Space Agency to develop our spaceport plans, the team we have will bring a huge wealth of experience and technical expertise to the project to allow us to develop a robust, sustainable and deliverable plan for the establishment of spaceport related activities on site.”

UK Launch Services Limited will advise on market and flight safety requirements for the rapidly growing commercial spaceflight sector. Grey consultants will provide a detailed facility review for the site’s infrastructure, the environmental and sustainability analysis of any potential development on the site and importantly a community engagement plan. TAO Tech UK Ltd are an experienced high-altitude platform manufacturer and operator who will work on establishing complementary range services utilising their existing technology as well as developing a concept for HAP launch of micro satellites.

Reaction Engines Limited will assist MACC to explore the feasibility of using the Campbeltown site for future SABRE technology flight test operations. The study will also assess the potential for down-range landing support operations to future operational SABRE vehicles.

The project will run until the end of March 2020. The outputs of the project will provide a feasibility assessment for the use of the spaceport for a range of spaceflight related activities, long-term the projects aim is to encourage the development of a spaceport cluster centred on an aerodrome which has the longest runway in Scotland.

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