UK to lead commercial space travel
The UK could be a world leader in space technology and commercial suborbital flights in 20 years, according to the British space industryâ€™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 Bransonâ€™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 governmentâ€™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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