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| 1 minute read

Spaceport Cornwall takes another step closer to the UK's first space launch

Great to see Cornwall, where I grew up, is a step closer to hosting the UK's first space launch, which is scheduled for early November 2022. The project has been eight years in the planning, but hopefully this will open the way for future launch projects to be much quicker. 

It is interesting that the first UK launch looks set to be of the "horizontal" type where the rocket is dropped from an aeroplane, rather than the traditional "vertical" type where the rocket blasts off from the ground. This launch from Spaceport Cornwall will put seven satellites into orbit. One of the drawbacks of horizontal launches compared to vertical ones is that they can only carry a relatively small payload. But as satellites have become smaller and smaller over the years, horizontal launches are becoming increasingly viable. In launching horizontally, the aircraft does most of the work in taking the rocket into the upper atmosphere, which saves on fuel costs, and the aircraft can also take off from existing runways.

More satellites are produced in the UK than anywhere else in the world outside California, and Marks & Clerk has the experience and expertise to support those UK businesses in protecting their IP and R&D investments. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

A Boeing 747 jumbo jet named Cosmic Girl, modified to carry a 31-tonne rocket under its wing, has arrived in Cornwall from the United States to prepare for the first ever space launch from British or European soil.


transport, space