SCOTLAND’S space sector has published a new “roadmap”, believed to be the first of its kind, in an effort to improve sustainability in the industry.

Developed in collaboration with Space Scotland’s Environmental Task Force (SSETF), space strategy firm AstroAgency and Optimat, the roadmap sets out the steps needed to improve the sustainability of Scottish space missions.

The report addresses the environmental impacts of building, fuelling, and launching satellites, as well as the importance of promoting satellite data for environmental monitoring. It includes expert interviews, in-depth study into sustainability and consultation with the space industry.

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Kristina Tamane, co-chairwoman of SSETF said it was “a truly historic document”, adding: “I am positive it will lead to an environmentally conscious space sector development, led by Scotland.”

Business Minister Ivan McKee said the Scottish Government has set the target to become Europe’s leading space nation and create 20,000 jobs by 2030. But he said the country recognises the role of space in the global fight against climate change, adding: “The Scottish space sector shares this collective responsibility and is already innovating through the use of greener fuels, lightweight materials, smart design and reusability.

“The Scottish Space Sustainability Roadmap is the next step in helping the sector reach net zero by 2045 and in setting an example for other nations. These are exactly the kind of actions necessary to help boost productivity, create sustainable jobs and position Scotland in the vanguard of responsible users of space across every part of the industry.”

Included in the roadmap is funders Scottish Enterprise’s innovation challenge. Alongside partners from the Scottish Government and The Data Lab, the company has launched a £300,000 challenge to use space data to fund solutions for Scotland’s net-zero transition.

The fund closes for applications on September 26, and successful applications will secure funding of £20,000 to £30,000.

Successful applications will secure funding of between £20,000 and £30,000 with the fund closing for applications on 26 September 2022.

Jane Martin, managing director of innovation and investment at Scottish Enterprise, said: “It’s almost a year since Glasgow hosted COP26, where world leaders gathered to address climate change and the global action needed.

“This roadmap represents another historic moment in our journey towards net zero and is further proof of Scotland’s commitment to take positive environmental action.”

The Scottish Space Sustainability Roadmap will be presented at the 73rd International Astronautical Congress at the Paris Convention Centre in the French capital later this month (September 18-22).