It’s all in the detail

A project for a new spaceport is now underway for the AJE team with the detailing work well on its way.

Recently, we told how AJE was working with SaxaVord Spaceport to procure steel for a hangar which is planned for the site at Unst in the Shetland Islands.

In February, SaxaVord announced that construction of the UK’s first vertical launch spaceport would begin in March after it received planning approval from Shetland Islands Council.

Now, AJE is working on the detailing of the steel and cladding.

Co-ordinating the project is project manager James Attridge.

He said: “By way of process, this has been a more unusual but understandable approach from the client. AJE has been liaising with the project manager on Unst and we received an early order to procure the steel. This made complete sense as the price of steel was unstable, so we were happy to do this for the customer.

“Now, we have been given the go ahead to proceed with the detailing. It’s a challenging programme as the customer’s hope is that the project will be complete by the end of this year. We plan to erect the steel in five phases and we want to get phase one, fabrication complete by the end of March. From there, we would hope to be heading to the remote location early May. It involves 320 tonnes of steel.”

The privately-funded spaceport will consist of three launchpads at the Lamba Ness peninsula in Unst, allowing for the launch of small satellites into either polar or sun-synchronous, low-earth orbits.

SaxaVord have plans to achieve 30 launch events per year and the site will support launches by a range of launch service providers (LSPs) supporting industries and services including telecommunications, media, weather and defence.

In May last year, it was reported that a planning application to demolish the existing SaxaVord Resort accommodation and build a hotel in its place could be submitted by the end of the year.

SaxaVord Spaceport CEO Frank Strang said the budget for the project is now sitting at £60 to £70 million.

The hotel would be used to house people working on space activity, as well as tourists.


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