SaxaVord Spaceport: Old Cemetery Found at Future British Rocket Launch Site | Science and technology news


The remains of a millennia-old cemetery have been discovered on the site of a British spaceport.

The discovery was made during earthworks at the SaxaVord complex in Shetland, where Britain’s first vertical rocket launch is due to take place before the end of 2023.

Pits, large boulders and burnt bones have been found, as well as white quartz associated with burial tombs and rock art, suggesting that it was a ritual cremation cemetery.

Archaeologists working at the site believe it to be from the early Bronze Age, around 2200 to 1800 BC. B.C., comes from.

dr Val Turner, Shetland’s regional archaeologist, said the discovery was “extremely exciting”.

She added: “The Bronze Age is perhaps the period of Shetland’s past that we know the least about and this is a wonderful opportunity to change that.”

SaxaVord said it would continue to support the study and not hamper work at the spaceport.

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SaxaVord spaceport on the island of Unst, the northernmost island of Shetland. Image: SaxaVord

Spaceport should be released “by the end of summer”.

Located on the Lamba Ness peninsula in Unst, the site aims to conduct multiple launches this year – but is awaiting Civil Aviation Authority approval for the spaceport.

The application was submitted last year and the company is confident it will be approved soon.

Chief Operating Officer Debbie Strang told Sky News: “We believe they will deliver by the end of the summer.”

“It’s going to be a real celebration when we get the license – it’s going to be a big step because it’s not just about Shetland, Scotland or the UK, it’s about Europe – the first vertical launch site in Europe.”

SaxaVord CEO Frank Strang and COO Debbie Strang in front of the spaceport compound
Debbie Strang with Frank Strang, CEO of SaxaVord

Ms. Strang gave a speech after the company co-founded Starflight Academy, an educational initiative that invites children into an interactive virtual classroom to learn about space and what it takes to be an astronaut.

It was co-developed with educational technology company RM Technology and NASA instructor Mike Mongo, who premiered it at the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s Future Lab exhibit.

The UK space industry, which added £7bn to the economy last year

The UK has a sizeable satellite construction industry but is trying to recover from the disappointment a failed space launch attempt from Newquay in January.

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