Prestwick Spaceport May Support Human Spaceflight by 20354th Jun 2021
Prestwick spaceport announced that the first commercial launch from the facility would occur in 2023, while the first human spaceflight could be possible by 2035. This became possible after an £80 million investment from the Ayrshire Growth Deal. This sum adds to the previous Prestwick funding over the past 70 years, which is what gives this spaceport facility such a huge potential.
Prestwick on Human Spaceflight Possibility
According to Dr. Malcolm Macdonald, an expert at Strathclyde University, Prestwick may support human spaceflight and microgravity tests by 2035. By that time, the facility will be able to send people to the edge of space at an altitude of 80-120 km above the Earth’s surface. The whole flight will take approximately an hour, and tourists will experience about 15 minutes of zero gravity.
Macdonald stresses that this will be a joy ride, but the timeframe is enough for some quick microgravity experiments. Even a suborbital launch is sufficient for experiments in microgravity conditions.
The upcoming human spaceflight possibility was ensured by an £80 million funding from the Ayrshire Growth Deal. At least £17 million of the total investment will be spent on upgrading the airport infrastructure, building an innovation center, and new hangars.
Prestwick Spaceport on Upcoming Plans
In the meantime, Prestwick Spaceport will focus on other space activities. Macdonald states that for a while, Virgin Orbit will be the only company to offer manned tourist flights from Cornwall.
Prestwick will start with small satellite launches – hopefully, as soon as 2023. He adds that the spaceport will support a vast range of satellites, from Earth observation to communication spacecraft. He specifically emphasises that satellite technology has already shown us the real status of climate emergencies. In the next two years, Prestwick spaceport should join the ranks of organisations trying to combat climate change.