The UK Space Agency is touring the country with industry workshops and public open evenings on LaunchUK – the campaign to enable small satellite rocket launches and sub-orbital flights from UK spaceports.
The Government wants to make the UK a world-leading destination for companies offering launch services. New legislation to regulate launch is currently before Parliament and in early 2018 the UK Space Agency will announce the outcome of its call for grant proposals to achieve low cost access to space. In total 26 proposals were submitted to the call, and the UK Space Agency is currently considering grant applications to support the first launches from UK soil.
These initial missions from the UK will pave the way for a commercial launch market, where multiple small satellite launch vehicles and sub-orbital spaceplanes could pursue rising global demand from a number of UK spaceports.
Launch companies that choose to base themselves in the UK will benefit from access to the UK’s world class space and aerospace manufacturers on their doorstep. The LaunchUK roadshows aim to raise awareness of this opportunity and the wider benefits of having launch capability in the UK – to companies in the supply chain, for example.
Science Minister Jo Johnson, speaking at the first Launch UK event in Belfast on 9 November, said:
“This is genuinely one of the most exciting industrial opportunities the country has.
“We need to get behind it as government and we are. We’re pulling together a really exciting programme for industry that we want you to be aware of to take full advantage of it.
“One of the things we’re doing is to put in place a new regulatory framework that will make it possible for us to compete in new segments of the space value chain.
“We see this as an opportunity that is going to be good for businesses in this sector throughout the UK, in every part of the country.”
LaunchUK will spread new opportunity throughout the space and aerospace sectors. The UK Space Agency and its partners want to explore how the market could develop, what opportunities it offers for new supply chains, and how the benefits can be delivered across the UK.
The following roadshows are coming up:
- Nottingham, 15 November 2017
- Harwell, 24 November 2017
- Durham, 29 November 2017
- Cardiff, 5 December 2017
- Glasgow, 15 December 2017
There will also be a chance for the public to find out more about plans for small satellite launch and sub-orbital flight from UK spaceports, with each roadshow having an open evening with experts from the UK Space Agency and Civil Aviation Authority on hand to answer questions.
Visit our [LaunchUK Roadshow event page] for more information.](https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/launchuk-roadshow)
Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.