UK Announces £1.3 Million in Additional Spaceport Funding

Chris Skidmore

Address to UK Space Conference 2019
Science Minister Chris Skidmore
24 September 2019

Excerpt

Back in June, I was delighted to announce that Spaceport Cornwall and Virgin Orbit will push forward with work to develop facilities to enable small satellite launch, thanks to a £20 million [$24.7 million] funding package from UKSA, but also Cornwall Council. This is in addition to the £31 million [$38.3 million] we have invested in vertical launch at Sutherland.

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UKSA Awards Grant Funding for Commercial Launch Range Control Services

SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — The UK Space Agency has confirmed that three organisations have been awarded over £350,000 [$457.5 million] in grant funding for the development of commercial range control services at multiple spaceport sites across the country.

The successful applicants Telespazio VEGA UK Ltd, Deimos Space UK Ltd and Heliaq UK Ltd will use the funding to develop a business plan and initial concept of operations to offer range services from the UK on a commercial basis.

The 2018 Space Industry Act enables companies to use cutting edge technology while also safeguarding public safety. Range control services are vital to this and include activities such as tracking rockets and spaceplanes in flight, as well as notifying users of airspace when launches are taking place.

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UK Space Agency Invests £1.15 Million in Launch Research

UK_space_agencySWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — We are investing £1.15 million to fund preparatory research about sub-orbital spaceflight and small satellite launches from the UK.

In 2015, the National Space Policy set out the government’s ambition to establish a spaceport in the UK. In February 2016, proposals were invited for industrial research projects to investigate the challenges associated with the introduction and operation of commercial viable services in the UK, and to identify the underpinning technological developments required to support these activities.

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UK Government Awards Launch Feasibility Studies

UK_flagSpace News reports the British government has awarded contracts totaling approximately $2 million to five groups for feasibility studies on launching out of the United Kingdom.

Airbus Safran Launchers, the prime contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and future Ariane 6 rockets, which has said was interested in a small-satellite launcher in addition to commercializing its work on a suborbital space-tourism vehicle.

Deimos Space UK associated with Firefly Space Systems of the United States, developing a vertical-launch rocket.

Lockheed Martin of the United States, proposing a version of its Athena small-satellite vertical-launch vehicle.

Britain’s Orbital Access associated with BAE Systems and Reaction Engines Ltd., proposing to use a modified version of Reaction Engines’ single-stage-to-orbit technology, whose development is being partially funded by the British government.

Virgin Galactic, which is proposing its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle, designed in the United States.

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