UK Looks to Become Hub of Space Tourism

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UK to lead commercial space travel
The Engineer

The UK could be a world leader in space technology and commercial suborbital flights in 20 years, according to the British space industry’s secretary-general.

Paul Flanagan of UKspace told The Engineer Online that the UK is already a base for many leading satellite manufacturers, such as EADS Astrium and Surrey Satellites, and it could, one day, be a hub for commercial space travel.

The venture first likely to set up shop in the UK would be Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, which is currently in talks with Lord Drayson, the science minister, over opening a launching centre for suborbital flights at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

According to Flanagan, the move would require amending the government’s 1986 Outer Space Act: a piece of legislation that makes it difficult to launch a commercial space-flight service in the UK.

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