Scotland’s ambition to become Europe’s leading space nation by 2030 gets a boost thanks to guidance from a group of global experts.
The Scottish International Space Advisory Committee (SISAC) is made up of members of the Scottish Government’s GlobalScot programme.
It is made up of Scots in business from around the world who have come together to provide advice and identify opportunities to achieve a £4bn share of the global space market and 20,000 jobs in the sector over the next seven years.
Scotland is making great strides in the sector, with the first orbital launch from Scottish soil this year.
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Both SaxaVord Spaceport in Shetland and Space Hub Sutherland are months away from launching.
The latter will host launches for Orbex owners starting next year, while SaxaVord will offer a multi-user, multi-platform launch facility with multiple launch partners.
Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “Space provides a tremendous opportunity for Scotland in terms of the economic development it brings, its relevance to the climate change agenda and the power it has to inspire the next generation.
“That is why the Scottish Government has identified it as a priority in our National Strategy for Economic Transformation.
“The space sector is a key opportunity for the future and we will continue to build on our strengths.
“The experience and knowledge offered by SISAC members will be very beneficial for our progress.
“I am grateful to the members of this new committee for volunteering to come together to help Scotland realize its full potential in the growth of the space sector.”
Scotland is also one of the world’s leading small satellite manufacturing nations, with Glasgow building more than anywhere else in Europe.
According to the most recent figures (published in 2019-20), the industry creates around 8,440 jobs in Scotland.
This represents almost a fifth of the jobs in the UK space sector. SISAC President Joanna Peter said the committee’s intent was to “fuel and ignite a national passion for a space-based economy.”
“Working with the GlobalScot organization and our network of national and international leaders, we aim to develop strategic recommendations, based on accurate and transparent advocacy, influence, consultation and development.”
Scotland’s position in the northern half of the Northern Hemisphere means it is well placed to launch satellites into Lower Earth Orbit (LEO).
Launches from Scotland will have shorter trajectories and the satellites will reach their destination more quickly, reducing risk.