The UK’s only rocket to successfully launch a satellite into orbit visited the Scottish Parliament last month after a 10,000-mile journey back home.
It is hoped the rocket will help to inspire current and future generations of scientists and engineers, as the space industry is becoming increasingly integral to the Scottish economy. Over the past two years, Scotland has seen a 27% increase in the number of space companies to more than 130, with a total income of £140 million. These include the headquarters of 83 UK space industry firms. Nearly a fifth of all UK space related jobs are in Scotland, more than double our population share.
The Black Arrow projectile had lain at its crash-landing site in the South Australian outback for 48 years. Its journey home saw it transported across land and sea, making the trip from the Australian desert to Edinburgh via Adelaide.
Over time it was damaged by extreme weather and vandalism before Edinburgh-based space technology firm Skyrora stepped in to retrieve it. It is considered to be the most important artefact linked to the UK’s space history.
Pictured below is Kenneth Gibson MSP with Derek Hughes, Business Operations Manager at Skyrora.