Cornwall Spaceport and Virgin Orbit Launch Plans Still on Track for 2022

31st Jan 2022
Cornwall Spaceport and Virgin Orbit Launch Plans Still on Track for 2022

Cornwall Spaceport Confirms Plans for Virgin Orbit Launch in 2022

Cornwall Spaceport has confirmed that their plans for two Virgin Orbit launches in 2022 are still firmly on track. Head of Cornwall Spaceport, Melissa Thorpe, has stated the UK spaceport is intended to be fully operational in time for the planned launches this year. Spaceport Cornwall will continue to work closely with Virgin Orbit, owned by Sir Richard Branson, and Virgin Orbit will provide the launch capacity for satellite deployment.

Environmental Research Satellite Due for Launch from Cornwall

Cornwall spaceport has announced that their first launch will be the Kernow Sat 1 satellite. This satellite is being designed to carry out environmental research projects from space, such as measuring rates of ocean pollution and mapping deforestation effects. The satellite can also be used to look at cliffside erosion, which is an issue of local interest for Cornwall’s coastal regions. The Kernow satellite is being manufactured in Cornwall and will be launched from Newquay Airport this year, depending on the satellite’s building schedule.

Spaceport Cornwall Submits Application for Operational Licence

In line with plans for a satellite launch in 2022, Thorpe also announced that Cornwall Spaceport had submitted its application for a spaceport licence to the CAA. In keeping with regulations, Virgin Orbit also made an application for an operator’s licence after another successful rocket launch last week. The company carried out a horizontal booster launch over the Pacific Ocean from a 747 Jet flown by British RAF pilot Matthew Stannard. It is hoped that the collaboration between Cornwall Spaceport and Virgin Orbit will bring new opportunities to domestically launch satellites manufactured in the UK.

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