THE Shetland Islands are ready for lift-off with plans to build a space centre at Britain’s own final frontier.
The UK’s most northerly tip would be the location for the country’s version of Cape Canaveral.
Work on the Shetland Space Centre could start next year and there are hopes it will include space tourism.
Sparsely populated Shetland only has one town, Lerwick.
And the UK Space Agency identified the most remote isle Unst as Britain’s best spot for launching small rockets carrying satellites into space.
Now SSC has attracted a £2million booster investment from private equity firm Leonne International.
The cash will be used to develop the UK’s only satellite launch site and an adjacent ground station.
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Due to its location, data can be easily downloaded from satellites orbiting close to earth, while its climate makes it good for data storage.
For the past two-and-a-half years, SSC has been collaborating with space industry giants such as Lockheed Martin — the US firm that helped put a man on the moon — and ArianeGroup, the European rocket company.
SSC chief executive Frank Strang said: “The funding validates what we and, crucially, the wider space industry has been saying for several years now – that Shetland is absolutely the right location for kick-starting the UK’s entry into this rapidly growing market.”