UK Current Affairs

Sutherland: UK selects Scottish site for first spaceport

UK Space Agency has selected site at Sutherland on A’Mhoine peninsula on north coast of Scotland for its first spaceport to launch rockets vertically and put satellites in orbit. For development of this spaceport, UK Government is going to provide $3.3 million funding and will be built with help of consortium of companies.

Key Facts

A’Mhoine Peninsula in Sutherland was chosen as most suitable place from which to launch rockets vertically. The first rocket launches from this spaceport are planned for early 2020s. The site was selected in part due to its beneficial geography. Rockets can take direct path from tip of Scottish peninsula to above Arctic Circle. This is suitable for launching small satellites particularly, which are often placed in polar orbits, circling Earth and passing over Arctic and Antarctic. It is located on coast in sparsely populated area, thus in case of failures rocket will harmlessly fall into the ocean or empty land.


The spaceport will help UK to grab slice of growing market for small satellite launches. UK already has many component and satellite makers and adding ability to launch satellites locally would increase its international appeal. The spaceport will help to attract $5 billion spaceflight market into UK’s economy over the next decade.

In recent years, new breed of small satellites (nano satellites) have created boom in space launch industry. These satellites are often size of shoebox or smaller and far more technologically capable than older, larger models. They are cheaper to launch and can be put to range of uses from communications to weather monitoring to scientific experiments. It’s estimated that global market for such launches (including supporting infrastructure) is currently worth $339 billion, and will grow eightfold by 2045 to $2.7 trillion.

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018


India ranks 37th in global startup ecosystem in 2017: Startupblink Report

According to report released by global startup ecosystem map Startupblink, India was ranked 37th out of 125 countries in global startup ecosystem in 2017.

Startupblink is a global startup ecosystem map with tens of thousands of registered startups, coworking spaces, and accelerators. Its report prepared in association with ANSYS Startup Program measures startup ecosystem strength and activity. It includes global ranking index of 125 countries and 900 cities, measuring their startup ecosystem strength and activity. The rankings of country are based on thousands of data points gathered from various sources, such as incubators and accelerators that appear on StartupBlink global ecosystem.

Key Facts

Top 5 Countries in Global startup ecosystem in 2017 are United States (1st), United Kingdom (2nd), Canada (3rd), Israel (4th) and Germany (5th). Small nations of less than 10 million inhabitants like Sweden (6th), Denmark (7th), Switzerland (8th), and Singapore (10th) were placed in the top 10.

In Asia, the list was topped by Singapore (10th) and was closely followed by China (12th), South Korea (17th), and Japan (20th). In Africa, the list was topped by South Africa (38th) followed by Kenya (53rd), Egypt (54th), and Nigeria (57th).

India’s rank indicates that more has to be done in terms of ease of doing business, startup policies, and complicated tax compliance. The Indian startup ecosystem is also yet to see major exits which is seen as important measure to gauge the maturity of a startup ecosystem. India ranked below Latin American countries Mexico and Chile which stood at 30 and 33 respectively. Bengaluru, New Delhi, and Mumbai featured in the list top cities in the global ranking.

Month: Categories: Business & Economy Current Affairs 2018