Sutherland satellite launch site legal challenge

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brian livesey
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Sutherland satellite launch site legal challenge

Post by brian livesey »

Scotland’s biggest landowner, Danish tycoon, Anders Povlsen, launched a judicial review, and lost, to overturn the Highland Council’s decision to allow for the construction of a space centre in Sutherland for launching small satellites: Space Hub Sutherland.
Povlsen said that permission to build the spaceport didn’t fully consider the effects on wildlife and the environment. One of his companies has invested £1.5m for a spaceport at Unst in Shetland.
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Lariliss
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Re: Sutherland satellite launch site legal challenge

Post by Lariliss »

About 15% of launched satellites for the past several years are coming from the UK.

ESA’s chief space debris expert said that it would be “totally insane” to allow an increase in the present level of space debris by adding large numbers of small satellites to outer space.
For different countries, permissions differ, but in common. Any launch is an iInternational responsibility, public policy, national security, protecting industry, etc.
The permissions include several international and national governmental bodies.
Awareness of the Committee on Aviation and Environmental Protection (CAEP) at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
Non-governmental entities, such as small satellite operators, are subject to international environmental laws.106 They are subject to generally applicable international environmental laws whether established by treaty or by customary international law.
Supervision is deployed.
• Annual Reports
• Applications to Amend Licence Permissions or Conditions
• On-Site Inspections of Facilities and Investigations
• Compliance with the Registration Convention
• Suspension/Revocation of Licence and/or Penalties
• In most cases, a space object is a space object regardless of size or function
• This applies regardless of whether a satellite is for scientific, experimental or
commercial activities
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JohnM
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Re: Sutherland satellite launch site legal challenge

Post by JohnM »

What people seem to ignore is that only a very small part of the launch vehicle mass gets into space. The burning of the propellant results in atmospheric pollution but the first & second stages crash back to the Earth's surface . In most cases these fall into the Ocean but in some countries that do not have large areas of water particularly to the east of the launch site these crash onto the land. This is common in |Russia and also when launches took place from Woomera in Australia hence the recovery of the first stage of the British rocket that launched Prospero. This is now on display in the FAST museum in Farnborough.

Any UK launch site is limited to launches to polar orbits and even then the launch path is restricted by the need to avoid Iceland, Greenland, The Faroe's and Orkney & Shetland. I am not sure what happens about closing the international waters during launches to prevent ships being hit by the falling debris but it may be a problem if areas like the fishing grounds or oilfields are in the range closure area.
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Lariliss
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Re: Sutherland satellite launch site legal challenge

Post by Lariliss »

UK is one of the strongest countries for the space launches industry.
The are are many questions in front of any company in the business, the following are ‘hot’:
- Harnessing AI more effectively for the satellites control, thus possibly reducing their number;
- Debris removal technologies for new launches;
- Making launches clean, using ecofuel;
- Making facilities more reliable and effective with 3D printing;
- Making ‘traffic rules’ on the orbit.

These goals are set for bringing space launch for a new level to leverage the traffic demand and sustain the market.
I believe, in the near future, it will be harder to launch anything to space, regardless of the amount of money. New regulations will come.
Queen Elizabeth II visited Scotland, to meet several space launch companies, that tells the stern.
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JohnM
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Re: Sutherland satellite launch site legal challenge

Post by JohnM »

Unfortunately geography is probably the most important factor in selection of a launch site.

1: Near the equator to get a speed boost from the Earth's rotation
2: 'Empty' sea area to the East for the 1st & second stages to fall into.

This is the reason Ariane Space launce from South America and also why the Proton rocket has better performance launched from the ESA / Ariane site than it does from Russia that is a lot further North and thus moving more slowly - the velocity falls as the cosine of the latitude. Thus more fuel and thus less payload to orbit.
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Lariliss
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Re: Sutherland satellite launch site legal challenge

Post by Lariliss »

Right.
According to the ‘physics of launch’, the advantages of high altitude have only a small gain from less thickness of the atmosphere.
The launch sites selection might also have historical and logistic influence, especially for high payload launches.
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JohnM
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Re: Sutherland satellite launch site legal challenge

Post by JohnM »

The problems of where to drop the first and second stages was one of the reasons the intermediate range nuclear missiles were withdrawn from the UK. From what I remember they were being launched from Norfolk and the first stage dropped into the North Sea and the second crashed into the North of Norway. However someone then discovered Gas and Oil in the North Sea and it was not possible to move the rigs out of the danger area. I guess the Norwegians would not have been too happy with discarded rocket stages landing on their territory in addition there was the risk of Soviet raiding parties acquiring 'secret' parts from the missiles.
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