Prospective spaceports keen to capitalize on future space tourism with £2m fund

 Thursday, May 23, 2019 

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Newquay Airport in Cornwall, Campbeltown and Glasgow Prestwick in Scotland and Llanbedr in Snowdonia in Wales are by now increasing their capabilities for sub-orbital flight, introduction of spaceplanes and satellites.

 

Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands was established as the site for the first ever spaceport of the UK last July. That facility will help vertical launches, with Lockheed Martin and Orbex developing rockets.

 

“The UK space sector is thriving, and horizontal spaceflight is an exciting prospect which could provide services to our world-leading small satellite industry as well as international customers and space tourists,” said science minister Chris Skidmore. “This new fund will help develop ambitious proposals to enable spaceplanes and aircraft capable of deploying satellites to operate from future UK spaceports, as part of the government’s modern industrial strategy.”

 

“The UK space sector is thriving, and horizontal spaceflight is an exciting prospect which could provide services to our world-leading small satellite industry as well as international customers and space tourists,” said science minister Chris Skidmore. “This new fund will help develop ambitious proposals to enable spaceplanes and aircraft capable of deploying satellites to operate from future UK spaceports, as part of the government’s modern industrial strategy.”

 

To quote Clair Barcham, director of commercial space at the UK Space Agency, “The UK Space Agency is helping prospective spaceports seize the commercial opportunities offered by the increasing demands for launch. We are working closely with the industry to ensure the UK becomes a global leader in providing access to space for small satellites and sub orbital vehicles.”

 

The probable spaceports can apply for up to £500,000 via the UK Space Agency website. The money is planned to allow research into market opportunities provided by horizontal spaceflight technologies, in order to develop business cases for launches from the “early 2020s”.

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