Pirate FM News 3 minute read

Spaceport Cornwall progress put back due to coronavirus

Spaceport Cornwall progress put back due to coronavirus

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:00pm 25th May 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Spaceport Cornwall’s progress has been put back by at least three months due to the coronavirus.

The setback for the spaceport, which will be based at Newquay Airport, was revealed in an online forum about the impact that coronavirus could have on the Cornish economy and how it will recover.

Melissa Thorpe, head of engagement at Spaceport Cornwall, provided the update in response to a question from one of the people watching the debate.

The delay is due to the need for the spaceport to get a licence to operate from the government.

There is also a need for spaceflight regulations to be put in place with the UK Space Agency and UK Government.

Under the proposals Spaceport Cornwall would operate as a horizontal launch site.

This would allow for small satellites to be launched into orbit from modified aeroplanes.

The aircraft would take off and land in the same way as standard aeroplanes. There are no plans for vertical, rocket-type launches.

Virgin Orbit spaceport satellites

Spaceport Cornwall has a deal with Virgin Orbit which has developed a launcher system for putting small satellites into space.

It was announced this week that full testing of the system is due to take place next week in the US.

Under the current plans it is hoped that the first commercial launch from Spaceport Cornwall could take place in September 2021.

The development of Spaceport Cornwall has not been without controversy with some criticising the environmental impact that it could have.

And there has been concern at the decision of Cornwall Council to invest £12million in the project.

When the council met to agree the funding there were protests from environmentalists including supporters of Extinction Rebellion against the plans.

However those behind Spaceport Cornwall have said that with small satellites already being built in the UK they are currently having to be shipped elsewhere in the world to be launched. They claim that by having a spaceport in this country will reduce the environmental impact.

Supporters have also stated that by using the existing infrastructure at Newquay Airport reduces the cost and impact that it could have.

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all Pirate FM platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Pirate FM

Suggested articles

Coronavirus: Pret A Manger to close 30 shops - putting at least 1,000 jobs at risk

National News: Pret A Manger is to permanently close 30 shops as a result of "significant operating losses", putting at least 1,000 jobs at risk.

Coronavirus: 'I didn't know he wasn't going to come back' - widow of COVID-19 victim reveals heartbreak

National News: The widow of a community pharmacist who died from COVID-19 has spoken of the heartbreak of not being able to see her husband before he passed away.

Newer articles

Work on Truro's historic cobbles set to resume following Covid-19 delay

Cornwall News: The cobbles in two areas of Boscawen Street were temporarily removed and replaced with tarmac after safety concerns were raised that the area had become very uneven.

Older articles

Bank holiday Monday beach safety warning for Cornwall

Cornwall News: There is currently no lifeguard cover on beaches across the Duchy

Covid-19: New telephone debt service launches in Cornwall

Cornwall News: It's to help with a surge in inquiries caused by lockdown

Most read

A30 closed after crash involving cyclist and lorry

Cornwall News: The air ambulance has been called to the scene

First coronavirus death in a month recorded in Cornwall

Cornwall News: 65 people with Covid-19 have lost their lives at Treliske Hospital

Pirate Extra Pirate 70s Escape LoveCornwall