A spaceport Sutherland appears set to open after government officials signed off on a deal allowing businesses to launch from UK soil into space. The spaceport will cater for horizontal launches into orbit, whilst a new spaceport in Scotland is expected to take on more traditional vertical launches too. This comes as the UK and EU are working towards agreeing a free trade agreement that would open up many of Britain's agricultural markets to European produce. This is great for the UK farmers but also for those who enjoy experimenting with new species of food. Many plants and animals are now being moved between countries for their growing purposes and the potential of new species being grown in this country is enormous. A spaceport in Cornwall may well provide a testing ground for these efforts.
The spaceport could allow for small experimental launches too if it is successful and proves to be a success. These could be used to develop prototype parts or test systems before a full-scale flight is launched from the UK. So how does a spaceport work? A company that wishes to launch from here in Cornwall would approach Low Earth Orbit (LEO) providers to bid for launch slots. If successful, the company would then be granted permission to launch the vehicle on a commercial airline.
The spaceports at Spaceport Cornwall would allow for experiments to be carried out in zero gravity conditions. This opens up the door to future scientific and research endeavours too. It makes sense too, when you consider that much of what space research is trying to achieve is to find ways to make life living in extreme environments easier. So it would make sense for a spaceport in Cornwall to attract visitors who may be interested in doing scientific research.
There are currently no plans for Vertical or Horizontal launches from spaceports at Cornwall. However, there have been proposals for small satellites being launched from here in the future. These could be used for carrying smaller satellites, placing them into orbit and eventually helping to deliver small satellites to LEO or Low Earth Orbit.
Such technology would also give researchers a better understanding of the effects of nuclear war and other potential devastating attacks on our space system. In the future we may see launches from spaceport Cornwall and other spaceports across the UK on Virgin orbital aircraft. This will provide us with a cheaper and more efficient way to get personnel and supplies to the space station or to the edge of the solar system where astronauts can use the equipment there.
The government announced that it had in fact received an offer from a spaceport in Cornwall for developing a new space centre. The UK's participation in such a centre would bring additional funding and jobs to the county. A spaceport is usually designed as a research facility to help develop new technologies that can be used by businesses or even put into use to help make our world a better place. It can also become a base for astronauts, which can take crewed missions to observe and sample various bodies of water or to go to space. The decision to create a spaceport in Cornwall by the government marks a major step forward in bringing a new research base to the area.