Lockheed to Help U.K. Build Spaceport, Cubesat Launcher; Rick Ambrose Comments

Rick Ambrose

Lockheed Martin has secured two contracts worth up to $31 million combined to help the U.K. space agency build a small satellite deployment platform and a launch site, Space News reported Tuesday.

The first contract instructs Lockheed Martin to support Scottish government agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise in establishing a vertical launch spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland.

The second contract directs Lockheed to produce, through its partner firm Moog, an orbital maneuvering vehicle designed to deploy in orbit as many as six cubesats.

The specific launch vehicle to be used at the future spaceport has not yet been identified but industry observers consider Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket to be the prime candidate.

However, Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed’s space business and a three-time Wash100 recipient, refused to confirm speculations, saying that “there are a lot of details to fill in.”

Rocket Lab, for its part, released a statement where its chief executive, Peter Beck, refrained from making any commitments but nevertheless said his company is “excited to review the opportunity to develop a launch service to support the U.K.’s space industry’s growth.”

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