British Authorities Urge Businesses to Invest in UK Spaceport Construction

1st Apr 2021

British government urges local businesses to invest in UK spaceport construction so that the country is provided with the opportunity to become one of the world’s space superpowers. This announcement is welcome news to many developers, Spaceport Cornwall included. Will Whitehorn, chief executive of the UKSpace trade association and a former executive at Virgin Orbit, also praises the government’s initiative. 

Public reaction to UK spaceport funding initiative

By 2030, The government hopes to increase its share in the international space market by 10%. To this end, it is vital to invest in UK spaceport construction as their commissioning will give Britain a chance to offer a full range of launch services to local and international operators.

Spaceport Cornwall is one of such facilities. Unlike other UK spaceport projects (mostly located in Scotland), Cornwall will focus on a horizontal launch technology instead of the traditional vertical launches. Virgin Orbit, founded by billionaire Richard Branson, will become the primary resident of Spaceport Cornwall. Virgin Orbit carries its rockets on the wing of a modified Boeing 747, releasing the rocket from the air. Spaceport Cornwall, on the base of Newquay airport, is the perfect launch site for it. 

Will Whitehorn, a former Virgin Orbit and a current UKSpace trade association executive, welcomes this initiative. He hopes that one day Spaceport Cornwall could add manned orbital launches to its list of services and claims that he would readily volunteer to go on a space tourist trip. 

Whitehorn adds that attracting private funds to UK spaceport construction is a brilliant idea. It should ensure the country’s prosperity and help to fight climate change and, even though the government’s statement for UK spaceport financing does not imply Spaceport Cornwall specifically, it is still inspiring that the authorities are taking vital steps in developing the UK space sector. 

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