Queen’s speech formally announces UK spaceport plan

by | May 19, 2016 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

At the start of every parliament, “The Queen’s speech” involves Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II reading out the rough legislative agenda prepared by the government. While this year’s speech had commentators noting what was in – prison reform – and what was not – a new Sovereignty Bill (originally planned to head off internal Conservative party support for an EU exit) – it was the announcement that a new spaceport would be started in 2020 that caught the eye of space cadets.

This announcement solidifies what had been expected – that a spaceport will be developed to allow operation of horizontally launched space planes and launch vehicles. The airstrip/airport will have new fuelling and payload preparation facilities attached to it.

The favourite to be chosen is Newquay, in Cornwall, which would allow orbital launch vehicles carried by aircraft to be flown relatively quickly over the Atlantic to be air-launched from there. This technique would enable flights to a variety of orbits, ranging from eastward flights to near polar Sun-synchronous ones. The site would also allow quick flights of suborbital air-launched craft such as Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.

However, the Newquay site is unsuitable for vertical launched rockets. These would probably need a launch site in Scotland for near polar Sun-synchronous orbits – the ideal for Earth observation spacecraft – to be attained.

The Queen’s Speech had one other space related announcement. GPS trackers would be used on prisoners to allow them to work outside prison walls for some periods of their incarceration.

Spaceport design concept. Courtesy: UK Space Agency

Spaceport design concept. Courtesy: UK Space Agency

 

 

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

About Rob Coppinger

Rob Coppinger is a recovering powerpoint user and engineer who mistakenly thought journalism was more glamorous than production engineering. He Read more

T+1 as Hyperbola launches itself far, far above the blogosphere

All things spaceflight industry get linked too and commented on in Hyperbola, the new blog from Flight's technical reporter Rob Read more

Like meetings, space conferences are a great way to avoid work

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog about the industry that builds the launchers and spacecraft that will realise the Read more

All I ask is a tall rocket, and a pad to launch her by.

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight industry blog that sees Flight technical reporter Rob Coppinger take a, sometimes, wry look Read more

On-orbit propellant fever!!

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog from Flight technical reporter Rob Coppinger.

Less is more

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight technical reporter Rob Coppinger

NASA gives public a new Dawn

Hyperbola is a technology orientated blog by flight technical reporter Rob Coppinger

While you’re waiting for that next Shuttle launch…

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

Categories

Archives

Tags