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December 7, 1993

AEA TECHNOLOGY STUDY PLANS FOR UK STAELLITTE PAD

By CBR Staff Writer

AEA Technology, formerly the UK Atomic Energy Authority is conducting a feasibility study into building a satellite launch pad at the site of the Dounreay nuclear reactor in Caithness in the Scottish Highlands: the fast breeder reactor is to close permanently next March and a requirement is seen for a rocket base somewhere in Europe to put small satellites into polar orbit – AEA Technology comments that such a launch-site needs to be as far north – or south – as possible, and to be able to launch the rockets over the sea in the direction of the Pole; we fit that bill – as well as being near to the North Pole, there is nothing but water and ice between us here on the shores of the Pentland Firth and the Pole, so there would be no problem with launching rockets with fall-away stages; we think that we could provide a base for the European Space Agency, but we will only go ahead if we can make money.

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