Astronaut Tim Peake says UK satellite launches ‘will happen’

Astronaut Tim Peake says UK satellite launches ‘will happen’

It comes almost six months after the failed launch from Spaceport Cornwall

Author: Simon Mclean

British astronaut Tim Peake says successful space launches from the UK will happen in the next four or five years.

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Almost six months on from the failed launch from Spaceport Cornwall, he’s spoken to us exclusively about the future of the industry.

Tim told us it was sad to see the launch wasn’t a success – but was full of praise for the Spaceport.

“It was really disappointing, obviously, and a huge shame for Virgin Orbit and Spaceport Cornwall.

“I have been down there on several occasions, and it’s an amazing set up and amazing capabilities, and I’m sure that fast forward four or five years we will have in the United Kingdom a mixture of launch facilities into orbit, both vertical launch and horizontal launch.

“Space is difficult”

“But getting to that point is hard – space is difficult – and these various companies who are working on these problems have to get through this difficult period of making themselves a commercial success.”

Virgin Orbit folded after declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US in April, with the Cosmic Girl aircraft used in Cornwall being sold off to Stratolauch Systems for $17m.

But Tim says despite the disappointment in January, there’s still a lot of potential here.

“Ultimately, small satellite launch from the UK is a really attractive proposition – we’re a great location to launch into these polar orbits which are very valuable, and it will happen.”

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