MACC base’s space race

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The announcement of a Sutherland spaceport site as Scotland’s first made national headlines.

There was much excitement at the Courier, on Monday afternoon, when German firm TAO Technologies UK Ltd announced it would site its British headquarters at Machrihanish.

The Courier raced to publish details of the first ‘spaceport’ firm confirmed for Machrihanish on its website.

News that TAO is bringing manufacture of its ‘near space’ SkyDragon helium filled airship satellite launch platform to Kintyre did not set the airwaves alight.

The machine harks back to the earliest days of flight when the Montgolfier brothers used a hot air balloon to take off.

In the 1930s airships offered a possible flying future till the R101 disaster. The government agency designed and built device crashed and research ground to a halt despite the success of R100, built privately, at the same time, including work by novellist and airframe designer Nevil Shute.

Hopefully the 21st century version will prove a perfect option for satellite launch and help to develop Kintyre, as a great location, for space development.