Space sector must become more sustainable

15/02/2023
Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise for Scotland

TRADE Minister Ivan McKee will today tell industry leaders at a convention in Singapore that the global space sector must play a key role in combatting climate change.

He will outline how Scotland is leading the way on this with the recently published Space Sustainability Roadmap – a world first which sets out how the industry can play its part in reaching net zero.

This comes following the announcement of an extra £373,000 from the UK Space Agency going to Space Scotland to enable initiatives across the sector which will reduce its environmental impact, address workforce challenges, and access new market opportunities.

In January the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and The Data Lab provided £360,000 for a research and development challenge, which tasks companies to come up with innovative space-based solutions for a range of sectors to accelerate their transition to net-zero.

Addressing the Global Space and Technology Convention, Mr McKee is expected to say:

“The space industry has enormous growth potential but with this growth comes an accompanying responsibility to mitigate its environmental impacts.

“Scotland declared commitment to reducing its impact on the environment through its sustainable space road map – the first of its kind on earth – informed by industry and leading international experts in space sustainability.  

“The Roadmap addresses areas like environmental impacts of building, fueling and launching satellites – as well as highlighting the importance of promoting satellite data for environmental monitoring.

“It sets out plans to use alternatives to toxic fuels and develop reusable rockets.  

With new developments like the UK’s vertical launch capability being delivered through Scottish spaceports just around the corner, now is a great time to join Scotland’s growing space industry.

BACKGROUND

Space Sustainability: A Roadmap for Scotland

National Strategy for Economic Transformation

This year will be an extremely exciting year for the Scottish space industry, with the UK’s first ever orbital launch taking place from Scottish soil planned for 2023 and international companies including Mangata Networks choosing Scotland to base its new space engineering, manufacturing and operations hub, creating hundreds of jobs and enhancing supply chain opportunities.

Forres-based company Orbex are already repurposing waste from biodiesel production, whilst Skyrora are using non-recyclable plastics to make fuel.  

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