How Scotland’s first Space Pilot was inspired by a Children’s Book

8th May 2019

Speaking to the BBC, Scotland’s first-ever space pilot, Dave Mackay, revealed how his initial inspiration came from a Children’s book given to him in 1964 as a young lad in Helmsdale.

According to the article, growing up in the remote Scottish Highlands made Dave hungry for knowledge of what other places were like. That hunger didn’t just stop at the UK or across the rest of the world but eventually lead to him taking to the skies and ultimately into space.

Coincidentally it isn’t too far from Dave Mackay’s home that a proposed plan for Scotland’s first space launch pad is to be constructed, following grants from the UK Space Agency to a consortium of businesses including Lockheed Martin.

It is unlikely that the new launch pad will have a vacancy for Dave as it will be used to take small satellites into orbit on unmanned rockets. Several companies are likely to be involved in the first rockets to be fired into space from Scotland including Danish firm, Orbex Space, US-based Rocket Labs and the Scottish company, Skyrora.

No clear dates have been put on the initial launches from Scotland as the legislation is still working its way through parliament but it is likely to be less than two years away.

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