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Commercial Spaceflight from UK Possible by 2020

The UK will announce plans for a big push to the commercial space sector this week.

New proposals will be presented in the UK this week as part of the “Spaceflight Bill”. The bill could see space ports and launch complexes being built in several regions across the UK, allowing Britain to launch satellites, and other commercial space vehicles as early as 2020. The bill would also lead to scientists being able to conduct experiments in zero gravity, allowing for advancements in the development of vaccines and antibiotics, announced the British Department of Transportation.

Science minister Jo Johnson also commented that the bill would ensure the UK remains at the front of the pack in the growing industry of commercial space flight. The first commercial flight would be able to take off within three years. “From the launch of Rosetta, the first spacecraft to orbit a comet, to Tim Peake’s six months on the International Space Station, the UK’s space sector has achieved phenomenal things in orbit and beyond,” said Johnson. “With this week’s Spaceflight Bill launch, we will cement the UK’s position as a world leader in this emerging market, giving us an opportunity to build on existing strengths in research and innovation.”

British astronaut Tim Peake

“We have never launched a spaceflight before from this country,” commented Lord Ahmad, aviation minister, “Our ambition is to allow for safe and competitive access to space from the UK, so we remain at the forefront of a new commercial space age.” Having launch complexes in the UK will provide access for not only private ventures, but also for the European Space Agency (ESA) which has been relying on American and Russian launch sites, lacking a good site on home turf.

Grants worth £10 million (SGD 17,7 million) would be made available for developing commercial launch capabilities for the country, which is a lot, but dwarfs the estimated £25 billion (SGD 44.2 billion) value of the commercial space market predicted over the next 20 years.

The bill will be unveiled in the UK parliament later this week.

source: Sky News

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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