Prestwick Spaceport expects first horizontal satellite launches in late 202317th Sep 2021
Prestwick Spaceport may see its first rocket launches in late 2023 and could eventually become one of the leading launch sites in the UK. The facility, with its air-launch capacity, can service multiple launches a day if the market requires it. This unique launch capability gives Prestwick a competitive advantage over other proposed sites in the UK and already operational spaceports worldwide.
The Huge Potential of Prestwick Spaceport
Prestwick Spaceport has the potential to create 4000 new jobs and position Scotland as the key player in the global space market. The spaceport’s favourable geographic location close to the sea and remoteness from heavily populated areas makes it a perfect spot for rocket launches.
According to spaceport programme director Mick O’Connor, the facility could become the leading space hub in Europe – mostly because it is one of the few sites that support air-, aka horizontal launch, technology. The tech implies carrying a rocket on the wing of a cargo plane and deploying it into orbit from the air. The solution ensures high launch frequency and precise placement in orbit because the launch angle and location can easily be adjusted.
Ayrshire Growth Deal Funding & Environmental Assessment
Mick O’Connor and the Prestwick Spaceport team are not the only ones who can see the huge potential of the upcoming launch facility. Just recently, the spaceport has received impressive funding as part of the Ayrshire Growth Deal. More importantly, the local council has already approved the spaceport construction, removing the potential obstacle of the environmental assessment.
The council has already ruled that the Environmental Impact Assessment will not be necessary because the Glasgow Prestwick Airport, the base for the upcoming spaceport, will very unlikely have any ecological determent on the area. With this in mind, the 2023 launches from the Prestwick spaceport are likely to become a reality.