UK Space Industry Prepares for "Early 2020s" Launches

By Gary Cutlack on at

The UK's various proposed spaceports may well be called into business within the next few years, as a fresh consultation has been launched to formulate the rules to cover our forthcoming (vertical, rocket) commercial and (horizontal, aeroplane) tourist launch plans.

The consultation seeks to firm up the regulations of the Space Industry Act 2018 that enabled our national ambitions to reach space, or at least the higher up parts of sky, from UK ground; first under the control of the UK Space Agency and then solely the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority when/should things get real. The plan is to then open up the skies for space and space-ish flights from the early 2020s, helping rich people to better burn away their money.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps could not resist the obvious reference, and said: "Getting the rules in place for space launches from UK territory may seem like one small step. But it paves the way for a giant leap in the development of our space sector. This is technology's high frontier and we will soon be able to reach it with specialist small payload launches from British soil." [GOV]