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Spaceport Cornwall Officially Gets the Green Light for UK’s First Orbital Launch

Back in May 2021, the UK made a huge step on its way to joining the “space race” by emitting new regulations that would allow satellites and rockets to be launched from British soil for the first time ever. This opened up the way for several spaceports to be built across the nation. More than a year later, Cornwall has officially become the first spaceport here.
Spaceport Cornwall was officially granted the license to operate as the first spaceport in the UK 6 photos
Photo: Spaceport Cornwall
Spaceport Cornwall Is Licensed as UK's First-Ever SpaceportSpaceport Cornwall Is Licensed as UK's First-Ever SpaceportSpaceport Cornwall Is Licensed as UK's First-Ever SpaceportSpaceport Cornwall Is Licensed as UK's First-Ever SpaceportSpaceport Cornwall Is Licensed as UK's First-Ever Spaceport
The 2021 G7 Summit was held in Cornwall, the place that would soon become known as UK’s first spaceport, and the British government confirmed that Cornwall was awarded the first-ever UK spaceport license. This means that it complies with all the safety, environmental, and security standards required for operation. It also confirms that this location has the necessary infrastructure and equipment for horizontal space launches.

Virgin Orbit is the one that’s set to carry out this historic endeavor, the first orbital launch from not just British but European soil. With the license now granted, Virgin Orbit can kick off wet dress rehearsals.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority is very close to granting Virgin Orbit the license for launch. It’s also working on several other applications for satellite operators and spaceports. Since last summer, when it began its activity as UK’s space regulator, it has approved almost 150 satellite licenses.

Cornwall is now ready to open up the use of Space for Good, and support the UK industry in harnessing the power of space to benefit life on Earth,” said Melissa Thorpe, Head of Spaceport Cornwall, who also described this as “a historic moment.”

At the same time, the UK is gearing up for another major breakthrough in its aerospace sector. Orbex Prime is set to become the first British-made rocket to be launched in more than 50 years. This historic launch is planned to take place from Space Hub Sutherland in Scotland.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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