UK Space Agency Confirms New Spaceport To Be Built In Cornwall

The UK Space Agency has confirmed that it is currently looking into building Europe's first ever spaceport in Cornwall.

They also reckon that they'll start operating sub-orbital spacecraft from the base in the early 2020s. That could see tourists heading out into space for a jolly, as well as flights to Australia that could take as little as 90 minutes.

They also want to build a second spaceport in the Scottish Highlands.

The rules that they are drawing up could see Virgin Galactic allowed to run sub-orbital space flights out of these two bases within the next decade.

Exciting stuff, no?

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Flights out of the proposed Newquay spaceport will allow tourists to pay to fly and experience weightlessness. How much they'll have to pay isn't yet known.

Given the amount of cash that it costs to blast a spacecraft into the ether, you'd have to imagine that it'll be dear.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

One of Britain's most prominent astronauts, 47-year-old Major Tim Peake, said: "For Britain to be the first spaceport in Europe to be able to offer that service because we have the legislation in place, because we've sorted out our infrastructure, that will be huge.

"It's a very exciting time right now. Space tourism can come under some criticism as a sport for the rich but that's how a lot of things start, that's how aviation started."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The UK Space Agency is going to put up £7.85m to make the spaceport in Cornwall happen. Cornwall Council will - pending approval from the whole council - stick £12m into the project.

Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit has already signed an agreement to use Spaceport Cornwall to operate their LauncherOne system and Cosmic Girl craft.

Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart said: "We are very proud to play a role in bringing space launch back to Britain - with a revolutionary new level of flexibility and responsiveness."

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Leader of Cornwall Council, Julian German, added: "Cornwall is the birthplace of innovation and technology and space is a key part of a 21st century economy.

"With assets like Spaceport Cornwall, world-class mission control facilities at Goonhilly Earth Station and superb digital connectivity, Cornwall can play a vital role in the growth of the global space economy."

The UK Space Agency's Andrew Kuh, said: "The Space Industry Act 2018 has already put in place the legal framework.

"We're hoping to have the right regulations in place so that we could launch from Britain.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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