WASHINGTON, DC (Orbital Access PR) — Orbital Access Limited and Space Florida announced today that they have signed a strategic memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see the UK space services operator establish a principal operating base at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. Orbital Access Limited is leading the development of a next generation small satellite launch system with support from the UK Space Agency to complement a portfolio of non-launch related space services to be delivered at horizontal launch spaceports, such as the Cape Canaveral Spaceport.
Announcing the signing Stuart McIntyre, CEO of Orbital Access said: “We are delighted to partner with Space Florida and the Cape Canaveral Spaceport to establish a primary service hub for the US market at the iconic heart of the Space industry in Florida. With the commercial market for small payload launch growing rapidly, the new breed of horizontal launch spaceports will become a key component in providing the access to space needed. These spaceports will become a hub for space related services ranging from simple industrial communications flights, micro gravity parabolic flight services, specialist astronaut conditioning, suborbital flying and, ultimately, small payload launch operations.”
Speaking on behalf of Space Florida, Frank DiBello said “We are delighted to welcome Orbital Access Limited to Florida as a major broad capability global operator to locate at Space Florida’s Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF). Commercial spaceports are becoming the go-to place for the wide range of space related services and activities, and access to low Earth orbit. As additional facilities develop around the world we are setting the operational template in Florida that will place us at the heart of the global spaceport system that is emerging.”
“Their selection of Florida for their payload services business reflects the deep space and aerospace industry heritage that exists in Florida and we look forward to the development of their wide range of services.”
Orbital Access Limited intends to base a fleet specialist aircraft at the SLF which will provide non-scheduled passenger services, parabolic micro gravity flight services and specialist charters. Additional services, such as simulator training and spaceflight participant conditioning, will be provided in conjunction with specialist providers in the USA. Horizontal take-off small payload launch services will be added once the development program, currently underway in the United Kingdom, is complete and operational permissions have been obtained. The development program, the Future UK Small Payload Launcher (FSPLUK) project, is being taken forward by Orbital Access Limited with an industrial team of tier 1 UK aerospace and academic partners.
SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — We are investing £1.15 million to fund preparatory research about sub-orbital spaceflight and small satellite launches from the UK.
In 2015, the National Space Policy set out the government’s ambition to establish a spaceport in the UK. In February 2016, proposals were invited for industrial research projects to investigate the challenges associated with the introduction and operation of commercial viable services in the UK, and to identify the underpinning technological developments required to support these activities.
Space News reports the British government has awarded contracts totaling approximately $2 million to five groups for feasibility studies on launching out of the United Kingdom.
Airbus Safran Launchers, the prime contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and future Ariane 6 rockets, which has said was interested in a small-satellite launcher in addition to commercializing its work on a suborbital space-tourism vehicle.
Deimos Space UK associated with Firefly Space Systems of the United States, developing a vertical-launch rocket.
Lockheed Martin of the United States, proposing a version of its Athena small-satellite vertical-launch vehicle.
Britain’s Orbital Access associated with BAE Systems and Reaction Engines Ltd., proposing to use a modified version of Reaction Engines’ single-stage-to-orbit technology, whose development is being partially funded by the British government.
Virgin Galactic, which is proposing its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle, designed in the United States.
FARNBOROUGH, UK, July 12, 2016 (XCOR PR) – US manned space launch vehicle designer XCOR Aerospace has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with spaceplane design and operating company Orbital Access Limited and Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport. This partnership is supported by Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government’s economic development agency.
A space plane design and operating startup has set up operations at Glasgow Prestwick Airport in Scotland.
Orbital Access Ltd has been established by Stuart McIntyre, grandson of David McIntyre, the founder of Scottish Aviation, and is backed by Scottish Enterprise….
Mr McIntyre said: “While a spaceport in the UK is a key piece of required infrastructure it will be of marginal value if we do not also have the industrial and technical launch systems in the UK capable of exploiting it.”
“The industrial, economic and employment dividend from the spaceport cannot be realised if all we do is host occasional US designed, built and operated systems. We have an aerospace and space industry with an enormous legacy of capability.”