The UK should invest more in space exploration, especially after Brexit, according to Virgin Galactic chairman Will Whitehorn.
(Photo: Hugh R Hastings / Getty Images)
NEWQUAY, ENGLAND – AUG 10: The Virgin Orbit Launcher One rocket in its hangar at Newquay Airport on August 10, 2021 in Newquay, England. Spaceport Cornwall aims to launch its first satellites in spring 2022.
Whitehorn’s comments made headlines after new UK Science Minister George Freeman exposed the UK government’s national space strategy and called the UK a “science superpower,” reports The Express.
With the reveal of the UK government’s roadmap for the space exploration industry, Virgin Galactic’s Whitehorn believes the nation is well positioned to achieve its lofty goals despite some “challenges.”
Finally, the UK could also benefit greatly from increased investment in the space exploration industry, Whitehorn said, in financial terms.
That’s because by 2030, the global space market is expected to almost double in value to $ 660 billion, with Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and, of course, NASA leading the way.
A way to fight the environmental crisis
In addition, Whitehorn also said that the UK government’s space exploration program roadmap may also highlight its importance in tackling the global climate crisis.
As such, it is now believed that the UK government can bring so-called âdirty industriesâ into space so that their negative effects on Earth can be mitigated.
These industries, according to Whitehorn, could include anything from massive data centers to cryptocurrency mining operations, which on their own can consume so much energy.
Much of the environmental effects of these two industries lie in their thirst for energy, as the world still tries to wean itself off fossil fuels and use renewable energy sources.
Read also: New critical images from NASA’s Perseverance Rover mission as final proof of the existence of water on Mars
A below par history for space exploration in the UK
Much of the UK space program has gone under the radar since their last full-scale efforts, and probably for good reason.
(Photo: Getty Images)
About 50 years ago, the British space program encountered a huge problem when it attempted to launch a satellite in the midst of the Soviet and American space race of the 1950s and 1960s.
According to The big problem, this satellite launch program depended on the development of the Black Arrow rocket. But just a month before NASA’s Saturn V rocket sent the first humans to the moon, Black Arrow’s launch failed, with the rocket collapsing and crashing to Earth to pieces just a minute after it flew. .
The British Space Program made two more launches after Black Arrow: Suborbital Launch Two in March 1970, which was successful, and its predecessor, Launch Three, again failing six months later.
To look forward
From the struggles of the British space program, the race for space exploration was largely driven by North America until the British government reorganized its space efforts with the British Space Agency (UKSA) in 2010, writes Reverse.
Now, after India and China, the UK is once again stepping up its space efforts. As such, the most recent plan is for the British to be the first country to conduct a rocket launch on European soil, with the launch slated for late next year, reports The Express.
Related: Space exploration without space jobs is just a vanity project by Tim Chrisman, Founder of the Foundation for the Future
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Written by RJ Pierce
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