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Highland space hub demonstrates sky-high ambition

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February 12 2020

Highland space hub demonstrates sky-high ambition

Plans to build a £17.5m vertical launch spaceport in the Highlands have rocketed ahead with the submission of detailed plans for a launchpad and associated infrastructure on the A’Mhoine Peninsula, Sutherland.

Space Hub Sutherland is being led by Highlands & Islands Enterprise with Norr Architects, Arup and ERZ, who will transform 307 hectares of moorland into a launchpad complex capable of propelling small satellites into orbit, including a control centre, antenna park and rail track for transporting rockets to the launch pad.

A key consideration of the design was to minimise visual and habitat intrusion by adopting a living green roof for the control centre, which seamlessly blends into the ground with retractable 15m lighting columns and a 40m lightning mast.

Outlining their concept the architects wrote: “The concept is ‘a single set of sliding doors, set into the landscape, which reveals a high tech world beyond. The northern side of the building would face towards the launch pad and be formed of a fully glazed wall to allow personnel to view a launch.”

Access will be provided by a new road off the A838 designed to accommodate articulated HGV’s.

Lighting columns will be folded away when not in use
Lighting columns will be folded away when not in use
The site integration facility will be clad in grey and green metal panels
The site integration facility will be clad in grey and green metal panels

6 Comments

Cathy Simms
#1 Posted by Cathy Simms on 12 Feb 2020 at 10:51 AM
Did they render this in Minecraft?
Gandalf the Pink
#2 Posted by Gandalf the Pink on 12 Feb 2020 at 10:56 AM
Have you never been to Sutherland Cathy? It looks exactly like that.
Cathy Simms
#3 Posted by Cathy Simms on 12 Feb 2020 at 14:54 PM
Correct Gandalf, I've never been. I'll take your work for it.
Damp Proof Membrane
#4 Posted by Damp Proof Membrane on 13 Feb 2020 at 14:30 PM
Ha, imagine setting something off TO SPACE and departing from this. What a waste of a wonderful brief. Great to see that some of the infrastructure will retract into the ground. But 'The site integration facility will be clad in grey and green metal panels' really is depressing in form.
Walt Disney
#5 Posted by Walt Disney on 13 Feb 2020 at 15:20 PM
Opportunity lost. Should look like something from Metropolis or Flash Gordon. At the very least the TWA building at JFK.
Shiny Beast
#6 Posted by Shiny Beast on 13 Feb 2020 at 15:53 PM
Wishful thinking Walt. What size of a budget do you think there is? If people were leaving for space from here then maybe Metropolis but as it's future space junk-some of it classified- going in to orbit the operators don't want to advertise it's presence.

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