The government has announced up to £10M of grant funding for the development of commercial spaceflight, including designing and building spaceports.
Policy makers are currently drafting legislation that will enable spaceflight from the UK by 2020. The funding is for areas such as spaceport infrastructure.
The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has identified several UK locations which could host a spaceport. These are Campbeltown, Glasgow Prestwick and Stornoway in Scotland, as well as Newquay in England and Llanbedr in Wales. RAF Leuchars near Fife in Scotland could also be a potential temporary facility.
“We intend to publish a draft spaceflight bill later this month, dedicated to commercial spaceflight in the UK,” transport secretary Chris Grayling told Parliament. “This legislation will be fundamental to enabling small-satellite launches and sub-orbital flights from the UK, ensuring the UK is well placed to take advantage of a growing global market.
“The government’s ambitions for the UK to hold a greater share of the commercial spaceflight market, worth an estimated £25bn over the next 20 years, took a step forward with a call for businesses to develop competitive, commercial and safe spaceflight proposals for UK-based satellite launch services and sub-orbital flights.”