Head of Spaceport Cornwall on Industry Development to Fight Climate Change

1st Nov 2021
Head of Spaceport Cornwall on Industry Development to Fight Climate Change

Derek Thomas, MP for St. Ives and West Cornwall, has been co-hosting a Zoom meeting with Melissa Thorpe, Head of Cornwall Spaceport. The meeting is one in a series of events initiated by spaceport management to discuss climate change and the effect of the Cornwall Spaceport industry on the environment.

How Can Cornwall Spaceport Help Fight Climate Change?

Spaceport Cornwall: People in Space - Melissa Thorpe
Melissa Thorpe, Head of Spaceport Cornwall

In this month’s event dedicated to Climate Focus, Melissa Thorpe explained how Cornwall Spaceport – particularly satellite launches from the facility – can help combat climate change. Ms. Thorpe has given several examples of how space technology and Cornwall Spaceport industry development could help address climate change. Some of the pictures presented showed carbon dioxide levels over Europe before and after the lockdown.

Ms. Thorpe also revealed that one of the satellites scheduled for launch from Cornwall, Kernow Sat 1, will scan the ocean around the UK’s coastline and look for grounds that could potentially capture carbon. She emphasises that any impact from launches, which remains minimal, should be mitigated by using biofuels.

Mellissa Thorpe added that Britain already produces some of the most advanced, new-generation satellites worldwide, but the spacecraft needs to be shipped to the US and Russia’s launch facilities. With Cornwall Spaceport launch-ready, the costs per launch could be significantly reduced.

Public Concerns About Cornwall Spaceport Industry Development

After Ms. Thorpe’s speech on Cornwall Spaceport industry development, the public has asked a lot of questions concerning the additional impact of satellite launches. In particular, the public is concerned whether £240 million required for Cornwall Spaceport development would justify the potential benefits of spaceport construction.

Besides, as the UK pushes forward zero-carbon initiatives, it is not precisely clear whether space and Cornwall Spaceport industry development helps or hinders the implementation of green laws. Still, according to Ms. Thorpe, the Cornwall Spaceport industry is moving towards a new, environmentally-safe standard of launches.

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