UK Space Agency Fund Cornwall Launchpad
Scheme to enable small satellite launch from Cornwall receives £7.35million funding from the UK Space Agency.
13:53 10 November 2019
The UK Space Agency has confirmed that it is set to award £7.35million funding to Virgin Orbit UK Limited for a scheme that will enable horizontal launch of small satellites from Cornwall Airport Newquay. An additional £10million funding could also be expected from Cornwall Council pending councillors’ decision at their meeting later this month.
The funding will be used for the development of advanced ground support equipment and mission planning. The goal is to secure the first satellite launch from Spaceport Cornwall early next year.
Dan Hart, CEO of Virgin Orbit, said: “We’re tremendously excited to be supporting the UK Space Agency and Cornwall Council by bringing space launch to the UK. By establishing a strong local hub for our launch system, this joint project will boost UK participation in a fast-growing global space economy while also providing direct, ready, and responsive access to space for government missions.”
“We very much look forward to furthering our ties with the cutting-edge satellite innovators across the UK and with local industry, who will be critical partners in fulfilling the full potential of this endeavour.”
“We’re eager to set up a world-class launch facility at Spaceport Cornwall, bring domestic space launch to the UK, and launch the next generation of satellite developers in their quest to better understand our Earth and our environment, connect human kind, serve national security, and explore our solar system.”
Minister for the Future of Transport, George Freeman said: “This latest investment in Spaceport Cornwall and Virgin Orbit is the exciting result of Government and the aerospace sector working together to help potential spaceports realise their global ambitions.”
“The UK is a world leader in small satellite technology and we are committed to supporting the UK as a world leader in space technology, and establishing a network of spaceports that enables us to operate regular flights is key to that.”