VG’s Whitehorn: UK Will Lose Out on Commercial Space without Regulation Changes

Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo with Burt Rutan and Richard Branson
Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo with Burt Rutan and Richard Branson

UK ‘yet to embrace space tourism’
BBC News

The UK is ill-prepared to exploit the emerging commercial spaceflight sector, says the president of Virgin Galactic.

Will Whitehorn said Britain lacked the regulatory framework that would help the industry grow but which would also ensure the necessary safety standards. Speaking at a space tourism conference in London, he said current rules would prevent Virgin launches from the UK.

Lossiemouth in Scotland has put itself forward as a possible spaceport, and the Virgin boss said it had great potential. Unfortunately, it was held back by inadequate legislation, he told the conference.

“Lossiemouth would be an ideal location for polar injection of satellites. It could give Britain its own responsive space capability. But the one thing that America has that nobody else has – although the Swedes are close to it – is the legislation which allows our system to be built and operated.

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