From Iceland — Iceland Being Explored As Possible Launch Site For Satellites

Iceland Being Explored As Possible Launch Site For Satellites

Published January 17, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Hannes Árni Hannesson, SpaceIceland/Skyrora

The space company Skyrora, in cooperation with Space Iceland, are exploring possible locations in Iceland for testing the capabilities of a new rocket, a press release from Space Iceland announces, as well as to build a stronger connection between Icelandic companies and companies involved in the space industry.

Skyrora is a relatively new company headquartered in Scotland, and specialise in the construction and launching of what are known as sub-orbital rockets, for satellites. The company, which employs some 130 people, also has offices in England, Slovakia and Ukraine.

“We’ve had a very good partnership with Space Iceland and hope to be able to work with more interested parties,” Owain Hughes, the business manager of Skyrora said in the statement. Robin Hague, an engineer who is in Iceland scouting locations and conditions, added, “Our goal is to develop rockets with as low a carbon footprint as possible. We want in this way to show responsibility towards the environment and the coming generations.”

The company hopes to attract more young people to the space industry as well, especially given how it is a growing industry in many countries around the world.

Consultant at Space Iceland Atli Þór Fanndal welcomes Skyrora’s interest in investing and working in Iceland, saying, “Skyrora is powerful company which has already attracted considerable attention around the world. The company is very young and is growing from amongst other things British rocket technology.”

Space Iceland was founded last year, and has been active in trying to get Iceland more involved in the global space industry. There are numerous locations in Iceland which could prove ideal for launching a satellite rocket, and all possibilities are being explored.

Interest in Iceland participating in the space industry extends to the highest levels of government as well; in 2016, Parliament approved a measure to explore a possible membership in the European Space Agency.

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