SpaceX launches fully civilian crew into orbit
The government wants the UK to control 10% of the global space market by 2030. Spaceport Cornwall, Britain’s first spaceport, could make its first launch next year as there are plans for vertical rocket launch sites in Scotland.
UKspace, which represents the UK space industry, calls for more investment to maximize potential.
The industry body has launched a campaign, targeting Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, urging them to “invest to unleash the transformative potential of the space sector”.
A comprehensive review of government spending will be released later this fall.
Writing for Politics Home, Nick Shave, president of UKspace, pointed out that the growth of the UK space industry has slowed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Children in front of a rocket at Spaceport Cornwall
British astronaut Sir Tim Peake
While it grew 2.8% in 2018/19, it only managed 0.8% in 2019/20.
Mr Shave wrote: âIf we don’t invest in the space industry at the level necessary to unlock its potential, we can expect growth to slow further.
âIt would prevent us from moving forward while other countries take great strides forward, catastrophic for the UK’s international position in the highly strategic space sector.
“It would also prevent the Prime Minister from making real progress in achieving his priorities here in the UK.”
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Children celebrate the launch of Tim Peake in 2015
Spaceport Cornwall, based at Newquay Airport, is partnering with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit to launch satellites into space.
A modified Boeing 747, named Cosmic Girl, will take off from the airport with a rocket under its wing.
Once the plane is at sea, the rocket and its cargo of small satellites will be launched into space.
Mr Shave argued that space technology will be crucial to Britain’s battle against climate change, as the UK has pledged to cut emissions by 78% by 2035, from 1990 levels. .
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Spaceport Cornwall hopes to have its first launch next year
Melissa Thorpe is the head of Spaceport Cornwall
He wrote: ‘It is only by investing in space that the UK will enable the journey to net zero and move on to other major priorities.
âSpace technologies and space-derived information are at the heart of climate knowledge, science, monitoring and early warning.
âIndeed, 35 of the 45 essential climate variables as defined by the Chairs of the United Nations Committee on Climate Change can only be measured from space.
âThe UK space industry is already providing policy makers with tools to help monitor and improve the environment like never before, but there is still a long way to go to enable the 2050 target to be met. “
According to a UKspace report published last year, the UK space sector could create an additional 15,000 green jobs by 2030.
Speaking to Express.co.uk in August, Melissa Thorpe, director of Spaceport Cornwall, said the next two years will be crucial for the UK space industry.
She said: âWe have a diminishing window of opportunity to ensure that [small satellite] market, which is why we are putting a lot of pressure on the government to get these regulations passed so that we can launch.
UK hopes to secure 10% of global space industry by 2030
âI think we have a year, maybe two years, to really secure this launch market here in the UK.
“More space ports are popping up all over the world, the growth of commercial space ports is booming as small satellites are booming and people want better access to space.”
Sites in Sutherland, the Western Isles and the Shetlands are under consideration for the UK’s first vertical rocket launch site.