Coming Soon: UK International Spaceport?

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Schnellzug

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Exciting news!

"The UK could seek to build a spaceport for commercial use, a government minister has said.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said the UK would aggressively seek to take advantage of the growth in space tourism - and that there was "an opportunity for us to seize the advantage in terms of both technology and regulation. Space tourism and commercial space are just beyond the horizon".

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/201...icid=maing-grid7|uk|dl1|sec3_lnk4&pLid=117073

:p
 
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Ivo

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At the airshow he set out the UK Space Agency [UKSA] has set out its strategy to capture 10% of the world's space industry by 2030.
Ambitious words! :lol:

Would this be at Leicester, the current base of space operations in this country, or would somewhere else be likely?
 

Schnellzug

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Ambitious words! :lol:

Would this be at Leicester, the current base of space operations in this country, or would somewhere else be likely?
I'm guessing, since things like mr. B's thing are launched by conventional planes, that some airport would be the idea. Perhaps a use for one of the many under-used Military bases
 

Yew

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I'm guessing, since things like mr. B's thing are launched by conventional planes, that some airport would be the idea. Perhaps a use for one of the many under-used Military bases
Maybe we will finally have something other than a cathederal in lincoln :)
 

MK Tom

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Ambitious words! :lol:

Would this be at Leicester, the current base of space operations in this country, or would somewhere else be likely?
Don't forget the UK Space Agency is headquartered in Swindon.

"Welcome to Swindon Interplanetary"...

I guess it'd be an old airbase within reach of major populations but probably near the sea too what with noise and falling debris risk and whatnot.
 

WatcherZero

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Their targeting just 10% of the market, still I doubt the UK would be that attractive as a hub. Our skies are already congested, we have poor weather that couldnt guarentee a majority of launches and a bad latitude that doesnt benefit from the spin of the Earth to provide free energy.
 

Schnellzug

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Don't forget the UK Space Agency is headquartered in Swindon.

"Welcome to Swindon Interplanetary"...

I guess it'd be an old airbase within reach of major populations but probably near the sea too what with noise and falling debris risk and whatnot.
Just the thing at Lyneham, which would soon be available. And not too many MIMBYS to worry about, since they'd be used to large aircraft coming & going
 

Badger

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falling debris risk and whatnot
I'd imagine it's mostly Virgin Galactic style spaceships (love using that word in a sentence) rather than rockets, more like a plane taking off, with no more risk than a conventional airport.
 

MK Tom

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I'd imagine it's mostly Virgin Galactic style spaceships (love using that word in a sentence) rather than rockets, more like a plane taking off, with no more risk than a conventional airport.
Yeah, I was just using the current New Mexico set up as an example where both spaceplanes and sounding rockets are used. Spaceports tend to be for launching freight as well as passenger flights, and the best way to put a payload into orbit is still with a rocket.

If it is just sub-orbital passenger flights then the problem with the Earth's spin doesn't matter, but for any orbital launches we're still reliant on rockets to boost up to those speeds and launching from this latitude puts you in a very peculiar orbit.
 

WatcherZero

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Sub orbital flights would still benefit from the rotation, especielly the much vaunted space skipping trans continental flights. Being near the equator gives a free 1,700 km/h boost to a vehicle.
 

daikilo

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Sub orbital flights would still benefit from the rotation, especielly the much vaunted space skipping trans continental flights. Being near the equator gives a free 1,700 km/h boost to a vehicle.
Would someone ask the learned minister to consider shifting the UK closer to the equator as it would help private enterprise and possibly improve our climate. An alternative would be to change the centre of rotation of the earth, with the same effects.

Just how learned is said minister?
 

MK Tom

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Being at this latitude doesn't preclude orbital launches, it just means more fuel is needed to hit orbital speeds and it puts you in a wonky orbit which could cause issues if you're at a congested altitude, but on-board thrusters on the payload can change the orbit anyway.

But anyway I think this site will mainly be used for sub-orbital Virgin-style flights and sounding rockets which can both launch anywhere from Cape Canaveral to Long Buckby.
 

Schnellzug

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Would someone ask the learned minister to consider shifting the UK closer to the equator as it would help private enterprise and possibly improve our climate. An alternative would be to change the centre of rotation of the earth, with the same effects.

Just how learned is said minister?
Well, David Willetts was noted for having more complement of brains than the average Minister* ...

* but then, so would the snail that was crawling across the path this morning, I suppose.

He quickly established himself in Parliament, becoming a Whip, a Cabinet Office Minister, and then Paymaster General in his first term (when that role was split between the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury as a policy co-ordination role). During this period Willetts' gained "Two Brains" as a nickname, a monicker reportedly coined by The Guardian's former political editor Michael White.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Willetts
 
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