British Government Slammed for Doing Little to Promote Space Tourism

Artists conception of WhiteKnightTwo and the SpaceShipTwo space tourism vehicle. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
Artists conception of WhiteKnightTwo and the SpaceShipTwo space tourism vehicle. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

At a space tourism conference last week in London, Virgin Galactic CEO Will Whitehorn said the UK needed to make regulatory changes before his company would consider basing space tourism flights out of RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

The Times reports that the government was warned about this problem years ago but has taken no action:

Adam Afriyie, the Shadow Science Minister, has now discovered that the Government was warned about this four years ago. In 2005, it commissioned a report into the arrangements necessary to promote commercial spaceflight from Moreton Hall Associates and JRA Technology — and though it was never published, some details have been revealed today in a parliamentary written answer.

The report urged the British National Space Centre to “establish precise responsibility for sub-orbital manned flight with the Civil Aviation Authority”, and to review licensing procedures and insurance requirements. Yet, Afriyie says, little has been done…

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