Best of luck, Astra!
Fly, fly my pretties!
The UK's SaxaVord spaceport has agreed a deal with Astra Space to launch satellites from the Unst facility from 2023. Unst in Shetland, scotland Isle of Unst, Shetlands, Scotland The ambitious plans are subject to agreements, approvals, and the site actually being built (consent for that from the Shetland Islands Council …
All other things being equal, the closer you are to the equator the more flexibility you have. The major issue with accessing high inclination orbits from certain launch sites closer to the equator is having to fly over populated areas, or rather those populated areas (rightly) objecting to being flown over (...and having failed or spent rocket stages land on them). Launching due north from Vandenberg or The Cape would be difficult, for example, hence the need for indirect launch profiles from those locations, or alternative launch sites in less populated areas. The fact that population density tends to decrease the closer you get to the poles is a handy coincidence.
My (limited) understanding is that changing angle of orbit takes a lot of extra fuel fuel.
If you launch from the equator and want an equatorial orbit, all is fine and you can take advantage of the Earth's rotation. However, for any other orbit, you have to add an angle to transition from LEO to the final orbit and that is really expensive on fuel.
Starting from a latitude closer to the final orbit saves more fuel than you lose in take off...
(There are probably a lot of calculations involved - this is space after all!)
A plane change does cost fuel. But you launch and boost into the direction of your plane, regardless of where you are, you avoid a launch on one plane and changing to another. A high latitude launch is for high inclination orbits as it loses the advantage of being launched to the East to gain from the Earth rotation. It seems stupid to restrict launch sites to high inclination orbits only just for the sake of being able to launch from sovereign territory. There must be places available near the equator with an unpopulated north and eastern downrange that would be a better launch site.
1) Whales. If you fly into Shetland then you always see susans of whales. If we ever hope to get whales into space then we need to launch from their locale. Why do we need whales in space? I dunno, ask Douglas Adams, ask Star Trek IV, ask Iain M. Banks..And if you are launching a whale then jet fuel and latitude is not such an issue
2) Rocket fuel is so explosive that Trident missiles aren't allowed anywhere near Plymouth - they have to be unloaded before going into Devonport and not because of the nukes. It's a bit of a risk to the local population, hence Shetland.
I flew up to Shetland about thirty times in one job. Always saw whales around the coast from the air. And one thing made me laugh, even on a bright blue day everywhere else there was a grey cloud above the islands. I dunno which god they annoyed.