Speaking during a parliamentary debate on Scotland’s space sector potential, Mr McKee outlined the Scottish Government’s ambitious plans to introduce at least one spaceport by the early 2020s.
More small satellites are built in Glasgow than any other place in Europe, and nearly a fifth of all UK space jobs are based in Scotland. Findings from the Size and Health of the UK Space Industry 2018 report show a 27 per cent increase in the number of space organisations in Scotland.
There are now more than 130 space organisations in Scotland – including the headquarters of 83 UK space industry firms – and these organisations generate a combined income of £140 million.
Mr McKee said: “Scotland already has an innovative and diverse engineering base, with world-class companies competing in international markets. As a country already punching above its weight in the space sector, we are in a great place to consolidate these existing strengths.
“Our ambitious plans for the space sector need strong leadership to succeed, and we are working with the Scottish Space Leadership Council, which has representatives from all parts of the sector including potential launch sites, satellite manufacturers and data analysis businesses.
“Together I’m confident we will deliver the aspiration for Scotland to become a £4 billion industry by 2030 and be Europe’s leading space nation.”