GET SET for space tourism as Cornwall expects to become Virgin’s “only location in Europe.”
In a council funded project, Cornwall is set to become a “key delivery partner” for Richard Branson’s first horizontal launch site in Europe. Spaceport Cornwall aims to provide an efficient and affordable way to send small satellites into a low orbit around the Earth. Last month California saw the successful orbital launch of Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system.
If everything goes to plan the project could create around 350 jobs and bring in millions of pounds. It is hoped that the project could see the first Virgin Orbit launches in 2022.
Interim Head of Spaceport Cornwall, Melissa Thorpe spoke to the Express and explained that, “Virgin Orbit are a mobile launch platform – they go to their customer base.
“That means they are going to have several sites around the world – Cornwall will be the European hub – their only location in Europe.
“They will likely come, on average, five times to launch each year. As the market grows that might go up a bit.
“When they are not here there will be another company launching as well. So what we need to do here is create other activities around the facilities at the airport.
“We need to encourage satellite companies, rocket engineers and engine testing to happen when Virgin aren’t here – so it isn’t just a one-hit-wonder.”
The project could bring in millions of pounds to the UK.
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