Groundbreaking new developments could lead to British spaceflight, with rockets and satellites potentially launching from UK soil as early as 2022.
A new milestone has been reached in British spaceflight endeavours, with spaceports projected to be fully functioning as of next summer.
Spaceport sites have been planned for Cornwall, Wales and Scotland, with the potential to provide hundreds of new jobs in Britain and business opportunities for space tourism.
Developed with the UK Space Agency and the Civil Aviation Authority, new regulations laid out in Parliament will mean satellites and rockets can launch from UK soil.
The possibility of satellite launches will enhance our access to data and communications and transform services like navigation and earth observation, improving the ways we can live, work and interact with the planet. As well as this, access to space will become paramount in global efforts to combat climate change.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps commented: “This is a pivotal moment for our spaceflight ambitions. Since the start of the spaceflight programme in 2017, we have been clear that we want to be the first country to launch into orbit from Europe.
“The laying of these regulations puts us firmly on track to see the first UK launches take place from 2022, unlocking a new era in commercial spaceflight for all four corners of our nation.”
This new legislation will aid the advancement of an assortment of spaceflight technologies, from traditional rockets to high-altitude balloons and spaceplanes.
These pioneering advancements lead to new and emerging space activity, such as sub-orbital space tourism and, in the long-term, new transport systems like hypersonic flight, which will significantly decrease aviation travel times.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “Continuing to grow our launch capability will help bring jobs and economic benefits across the UK. The Space Industry Regulations we have tabled today will create a supportive, attractive and safe environment for commercial spaceflight.
“Today marks another crucial milestone that will enable the first launches from British soil in 2022 and make UK commercial spaceflight a reality.”