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Spaceport ?

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Hugely unlikely - for starters the preferred runway length is 3000m  - twice Sumburgh's longest. Then there is the access issue from the mainland, the (relatively) lengthy periods of fog & high wind, local infrastructure & accommodation - although maybe the barges might be free in time!

Pit really..  We have more than enough 'space cadets' at the town hall to fill the other requirements. <G>

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even more simply you need to be near the equator to gain from the rotation of the planet. launching from the poles is equal to zero and at the equator your gaining an extra 1040 mph on your flight.

but more importantly were would you rater be Florida or scotland. a very difficult question for the space boffins. 

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Quite so paulb, hence the Arianes launching from French Guiana, a mere 5 degrees north of the equator. However, the extra oomph is only beneficial for orbits that roughly follow the initial launch direction - a Shetland launch would be more suited to polar orbits that earth-science satellites (and GCHQ's ones!) often take.

The weather issues in Florida are usually about the need for visual contact from the ground - spaceplanes by their nature don't go straight up, so there is less opportunity to keep an eye on them all the way.

Anyway, it's immaterial for Shetland, as - according to the boffin the Beeb had on - they will need a 5km runway... Tingwall straight mebbe?  Also, why has nobody taken Gerry Anderson's idea and made a big curved launch rail like wot he did in Fireball XL5? :-D

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Why did you have to mention Fireball XL5?  Now I can't get the damn theme out of my head..


I wish I was a spaceman, the fastest guy alive

I'd fly around the universe in Fireball XL5

Way out is space together, conquerors of the starts

blah, blah, blah...........

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Christ sake if folk can get apoplectic about a wind farm imagine how they'd feel about sumburgh being extended a couple of mile out into the atlantic to allow an infrequent and heavily disrupted service to space to be accommodated.


It's bad enough trying to get to Aberdeen some days without having Dickie Branson buzzing round fitful looking for a break in the cloud.

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