Stenness has been identified as a possible site for a space satellite facility by experts.
Once used in World War 1 for experimental flights for seaplanes, the Stenness Loch could again be the centre for future flight developments.
Engineers advising both the UK and Scottish Governments on Scotland’s involvement in future space exploration say that the site is ideal.
They are also looking at how they can make use of Orkney’s renewables to power what would be a unique Space Vehicle.
If the project gets the green light then it will be all systems go to construct the facility including an integrated transport network and additional housing for the hundreds of new workers who will be needed for the development.
Local councillors are ecstatic about the jobs boost to the islands but are concerned that Orkney will see little benefit from space exploration.
Orkney will not have seen construction like this since World War Two.
Farmers and local wildlife experts have voiced concerns that the increased noise firstly in the construction of the facility and secondly when flights commence will upset cattle, sheep, otters, seals and birds. One farmer said it could have a devastating impact on migrant geese. A campaign group has already got underway to protest about the plans with a petition to be launched over the next few days.
The project group have given The Orkney News access to the first mock up of what the space facility might look like.
As H.G. Wells said: ” The choice is the Universe – or nothing.”
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