Cornwall’s ambitions to be at the centre of the UK’s commercial spaceflight industry will be highlighted at a major UK Space Agency conference in London tomorrow (Feb 21).
A delegation led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will be outlining why Cornwall is ideally placed to offer a complete launch solution to commercial space operators to put small satellites into orbit, and offer sub-orbital spaceplane flights for science and tourism.
Cornwall’s unique assets combine one of the UK’s longest runways and uncongested airspace at Cornwall Airport Newquay, with satellite operation, command and control and space vehicle tracking capabilities at Goonhilly Earth Station.
The intention is to bid for a share of a £10 million Government fund announced this month to secure Spaceport Cornwall at Cornwall Airport Newquay, offering low-cost access to space and new launch capability for the UK by 2020.
And meanwhile Goonhilly continues to invest in upgrading its operations, including deep space communications ability.
The Cornwall delegation will be speaking at an all-day UK Space Agency conference at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London called Launch UK: Igniting the UK’s new space age.
The event will bring together potential UK spaceports, spaceflight vehicle operators and the wider UK space manufacturing sector to discuss progress being made towards small-satellite launch and sub-orbital flights in the UK.
Ministers have also confirmed that a Spaceflight Bill will be published later this year that will pave the way for the creation of UK spaceports, including rules and regulations for operators, such as safety and insurance measures.
LEP chief executive Sandra Rothwell, who will be updating the conference on Cornwall’s space ambitions, said: “Cornwall has unique, nationally significant assets at Newquay and Goonhilly that can play a critical role in making the UK’s new space age a reality.
“We want to harness the power of spacetech to drive more science, innovation and research not just in Cornwall but across the UK, creating highly skilled jobs and boosting our economy in line with the Government’s Industrial Strategy.”
Proposals to establish UK spaceports must be submitted to the UK Space Agency by 15th April, 2017.