Cornwall will have to wait a little longer before finding out whether a bid to host one of the UK’s first spaceports has been successful.
A funding decision by the UK Space Agency had been expected before the end of March, but will now be made later. Although no exact date has been given, a public announcement is now likely to be in early May.
Miles Carden, director of Spaceport Cornwall, said: “We had anticipated a Spaceport Cornwall funding announcement this financial year but have been told it will now be a short time later. We remain very positive about our future plans for Spaceport Cornwall at Cornwall Airport Newquay and are reassured that an announcement will be made pretty soon.
“In the meantime we continue to work with our investment launch partners towards realising our ambition of becoming the UK’s first horizontal space launch site.”
St Austell and Newquay MP, Steve Double, met with Space Minister, Sam Gyimah, last week and said: “It was a good opportunity to brief the minister on the importance of Spaceport Cornwall to realising our future space ambitions, and why we believe Cornwall Airport Newquay is the perfect location for horizontal launches including human space flight and satellites.”
Earlier this month the new Space Industry Act became law and this week the UK Space Agency issued a call for evidence on the liabilities, insurance and charging arrangements for commercial spaceflight from UK soil to inform future policy.
The Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper published last year included £50 million to enable new satellite launch services and low gravity spaceflights from UK spaceports. The ambition is to grow the UK’s share of the global space market from 6.5% now to 10% by 2030, worth an estimated £40 billion per year.