Western Europe’s 1st vertical spaceport cleared for launch, hopes to see rockets fly in 2024

The SaxaVord spaceport on the Shetland Islands off the northern coast of Scotland has officially become western Europe’s first licensed spaceport capable of launching rockets vertically. 

SaxaVord, located on Unst, the northernmost island of the Shetland archipelago, received a license from the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Sunday, Dec. 17. Although no debut launch date has been announced yet, the CAA said in a statement that the license “paves the way for rocket launches on U.K. soil from 2024.”