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WATCH: Spaceport 'almost certain' for Cornwall

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8:57am 18th June 2017
(Updated 8:57am 18th June 2017)

Bosses tell Pirate FM it is almost certain Cornwall will get a spaceport.

Stuart McIntyre, chief executive of Orbital Access Limited, says he does not think it is a matter of 'if' - but of 'when'.

He is part of a new partnership as plans for the Newquay site move a step closer which could see small satellites launched into orbit from the Duchy.

He says the UK-based launch systems and aerospace services business will partner up to provide horizontal launch services out of the site.

They also plan to open an office at Goonhilly later this year.

Stuart said: "The opportunity for Newquay and Cornwall to establish a spaceport is very much its own choice now and I think on that basis Cornwall will have a spaceport.

"Even if we can't operate launch vehicles from Newquay, there are still many things that we can successfully do in the space sector in the area.

"It's likely, I would argue almost certain, that there will be probably be two spaceports in the UK - probably one in Scotland and one in Cornwall.

"It's important to us as we develop the system in the UK that we are fully integrated and established in Cornwall".

The aim of the partnership is to collaborate in the development of Spaceport Cornwall, which comprises Cornwall Airport Newquay, Goonhilly Earth Station and the wider space and aerospace supply chain in Cornwall, and to establish Orbital Access as a principal operator.

It is also part of the bid for a grant from the UK Space Agency to establish 'cost-effective end-to-end launch services' from an operational UK spaceport by 2020, as set out in the draft UK Spaceflight Bill.

Sandra Rothwell, Chief Executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, which is leading the Spaceport Cornwall project, said: "We're delighted to welcome such a high profile Spaceport Cornwall partner and look forward to Orbital Access opening an office at Goonhilly.

"Our ambition is to develop a thriving space industry in Cornwall using our existing world-class assets to provide low cost access to space.

"Cornwall Airport Newquay and Goonhilly are both within our Aerohub Enterprise Zone which means we can offer a suite of incentives to inward investors, unlocking further investment into business, science, skills and future space and satellite technologies in Cornwall."

spaceport

With an estimated economic value of more than £5.9 billion by 2030, top bods behind the UK spaceport and launcher project say it will provide new jobs and technologies and inspire and promote science, engineering, research and innovations to the next generation.

They add that it will also create a space cluster for the fast growing small satellite industry, harnessing existing entities - such as Goonhilly Earth Station - and a wide range of new UK aerospace companies, academic institutions and specialist contractors.

Ian Jones, chief executive of Goonhilly Earth Station, said: "We're very pleased to welcome Stuart and the Orbital Access team to Goonhilly.

"We have great office space and technical facilities here as well as access to unparalleled satellite communications and terrestrial data connectivity. We're delighted to be hosting Orbital Access as they continue to expand their business."

space

Up to £10 million is available to make the UK the first place in Europe where commercial space operators can launch small satellites into orbit and offer spaceplane flights for science and tourism.

The LEP is leading Cornwall's bid to establish Spaceport Cornwall across two sites at Cornwall Airport Newquay and Goonhilly Earth Station.

Pirate FM told you how industry experts think it will boost the Cornish economy by up to £50 million and create hundreds of new jobs.

They say it will offer an unrivalled combination of horizontal launch, monitoring and tracking facilities.

The bid also outlines why Cornwall is perfectly placed to maximise the potential from the fast growing global small satellite launch market, and spaceplane development.

Check out what a spaceport for Cornwall might look like...

 

It will seek up to £10 million of investment to upgrade facilities at Cornwall Airport Newquay to make Spaceport Cornwall a reality.

This would include a Spaceplane Systems Integration Facility comprising a hangar and clean rooms to cater for satellite and future flight technologies.

An announcement of successful bids is expected in the summer.

This will be followed by a spaceport licence application under the Government's Spaceflight Bill, which sets out how the Government plans to regulate spaceflight activities from UK spaceports.

8:57am 18th June 2017

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