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Lockheed-Martin picks Shetland Space Centre

October 23, 2020

By Chris Forrester

Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is to relocate its UK small satellite launch operations centre from Space Hub Sutherland to Shetland Space Centre.

The move, say officials, could support a total of 605 jobs including 140 local positions and 210 across the wider Shetland region. An additional 150 jobs will be created from the wider manufacturing and support services, according to the UK Space Agency.

The UK Space Agency confirmed that Lockheed Martin’s plans to move its UK Pathfinder Launch to Lamba Ness on Unst would continue to deliver long-term value. The move will also help establish a sustainable, commercial launch market as part of the UK’s spaceflight programme LaunchUK, it added.

Ivan McKee, Scottish Government minister for trade, investment and innovation, said: “This is an extremely exciting time for the emerging space sector globally, and Scotland is situated at the very forefront of this. The transfer of Lockheed Martin’s UK Pathfinder satellite launch to Shetland Space Centre will enhance Scotland’s existing vertical launch capability and enable us to target a wider market base through a complementary offer across multiple spaceports.”

Nik Smith, UK country executive at Lockheed Martin, added: “From the outset our focus has been on realising the greatest economic benefit for the UK through the spaceflight programme. The transfer of our UK spaceflight operations to Shetland will not only broaden launch options available in the UK, but also ensure the economic benefits of these endeavours are felt more widely.”

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