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| 1 minute read

One giant leap for the UK space industry

As a student at the University of Strathclyde, my group and I produced a general overview of suborbital rocket operations in the UK as part of our final year project. In doing so, we analysed numerous spaceports throughout the UK, determining their suitability to host regular suborbital and orbital rocket launches for commercial purposes.

One such spaceport was Spaceport Cornwall. At the time of my final year project, many of the major rocket operators in the UK were launching suborbital rockets, with a view to launching orbital satellites into space. It is extremely exciting, therefore, just 1 and a half years later, to see that a UK spaceport is already preparing to host Virgin Orbital's upcoming satellite launch - set to be the first ever orbital launch from the UK.

This, of course, signifies an important milestone in the progression of the UK space industry. As seen below, Science Minister George Freeman was keen to acknowledge the important role of "the thriving Scottish space cluster" in the progression of this industry, "one of our most innovative". This is also extremely exciting to see.

My final year project arrived at the conclusion that Space Hub Sutherland, here in Scotland, would be that UK spaceport most suitable to host regular suborbital and orbital rocket launches for commercial purposes. With Spaceport Cornwall paving the way, and the important role of innovators in the Scottish space industry being widely acknowledged, space-related innovation in the UK, and Scotland in particular, looks to be ready for lift off!

The first ever satellite launch from UK soil, here at Spaceport Cornwall, will be a giant leap for our fast-growing commercial satellite and space sector. This is one of our most innovative industries, generating new opportunities in Cornwall and beyond, with high-growth companies such as Space Forge, Surrey Satellites, Astroscale, Inmarsat, Open Cosmos, and the thriving Scottish space cluster.


patents, space, aerospace