The UK’s Spaceport Cornwall Edges Closer To Initial Launch

The UK’s Spaceport Cornwall Edges Closer To Initial Launch

Set to deliver the first ever launch from UK soil this summer, Spaceport Cornwall is laying the foundations for long-term, responsible, smallsat services from Cornwall Airport Newquay with the build of the Centre for Space Technologies.

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This state of the art facility is a nationally unique asset where the value of launch from Cornwall will realize its full potential. The Center comprises two main facilities: the Space Systems Integration Facility, where satellites will be integrated into the fairing of the rocket; and the Space Systems Operation Facility, an adjacent R&D work and office space.

The center will also be the on the ground base for Spaceport Cornwall’s mission to take a global lead in responsible launch and their ambition to achieve Net Zero. It will be home to Kernow Sat-1 – a G7 Legacy funded Community Satellite that will be launched to monitor ocean health around the coast of Cornwall – supporting Blue Carbon ambitions. Alongside this, further R&D will focus on Environmental Intelligence and Space.

Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said, “From connecting people with their friends and family, to helping farmers to manage their crops, space is playing an increasingly pivotal role in our daily lives. Not only is this booming £16 billion sector a vital part of the UK economy, but it is also helping to protect British security interests abroad. The Centre for Space Technologies, backed by government funding, will be a hugely exciting asset to both Cornwall, and to the UK’s space sector as a whole. The facility will contribute to vital research and development in the field, bringing together industry and academia to exploit space to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges. The Government is delighted to be able to support this fantastic site, which will bring 150 jobs to the local area while boosting Cornwall’s burgeoning space cluster.”

Melissa Thorpe, Head of Spaceport Cornwall, said, “Spaceport Cornwall is more than just a launch facility. The Centre for Space Technologies is proof of our ambitions to lead the way in a global industry shift. We want to show the key role environmental intelligence can play in solving global climate challenges and the centre will be home to vital R & D in this area – fostering collaboration across industry and academia to pioneer the use of space for good.”

Ian Annett, Deputy CEO of the UK Space Agency, said, “It’s fantastic to see how our investments in UK launch are leading to the development of impressive facilities that will support spaceflight operations, research and collaboration, and create high-skilled jobs. As we countdown to the first launch this summer, we are working closely with Spaceport Cornwall, Virgin Orbit and partners across the country to grow a sustainable new spaceflight industry in the UK.”

The £5.6 million innovative space has been jointly-funded by Cornwall Council, the European Regional Development Fund and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, through the Government’s ‘Getting Building’ Fund. Accelerating UK Space and growing Cornwall’s economy Spaceport Cornwall, with the Centre for Space Technologies, will deliver 150 direct jobs and £200 million GVA.

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