ABINGDON, England (Reaction Engines PR) — At the UK Space Conference, Science Minister Chris Skidmore and UK Space Agency confirmed a further £1.3 million towards developing spaceport plans in England, Scotland and Wales as part of the government’s spaceflight programme, LaunchUK.
The funding will be shared between three sites around the country and Reaction Engines will play a key role supporting the assessment undertaken by the owners of Machrihanish Airbase company behind one of these sites; the Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC).
INVERNESS, Scotland (HIE PR) — Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which is backing the £17.3m project to design and build Space Hub Sutherland, has today (Wednesday 4 September) lodged a proposal of application notice with the Highland Council.
The notice effectively triggers the start of a process that will lead
to a formal application for planning consent being submitted to the
local authority at the end of December.
Skykraft Pty Ltd and Equatorial Launch Australia Pty Ltd (ELA) agree to develop a strategic relationship that leverages the strengths of both companies. Those being, Skykraft as a designer and manufacturer of small satellite (SmallSAT) constellations for a broad range of space-based services, and ELA as the operator of Australia’s first commercial spaceport, located near Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory.
The combination of Skykraft’s rapid constellation design and manufacture capability, plus ELA’s ability to tailor the launch options through their established spaceport and access to a wide selection of launch vehicles, provides Australia and the broader space community with an end-to-end solution for rapid, flexible and responsive space access.
FORRES, UK (Orbex PR) — Space Hub Sutherland gets the go-ahead from locals after Melness Crofters Estate (MCE) and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) signed a 75-year lease for the land earmarked for the development.
Below is a reaction from Chris Larmour, CEO of Orbex, the UK-based spaceflight company chosen to launch from the spaceport:
Chris Larmour, CEO of Orbex
“We welcome this
very positive step forward. Orbex’s interactions with the local
community in Tongue, Talmine and Melness have been overwhelmingly
positive and we’re pleased that this strong, long term agreement
is now in place.
“We look forward to
working closely with the local community in the years to come, and we
expect to have many locals working directly on the space launch
programme as colleagues, ultimately helping the UK’s
National Space Programme to begin launching satellites into space. That
launch capability will be a first in continental Europe, and will offer
a host of benefits, enabling new markets and enlarging the UK’s share
of the global space economy.”
INVERNESS, Scotland (Highlands and Islands Enterprise PR) — The owners of land earmarked for the Space Hub Sutherland development on the Moine Peninsula have agreed a lease option with developer, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Representatives of Melness Crofters Estate (MCE) and HIE signed the agreement yesterday (Wednesday 31 July). It secures the option for HIE to lease the land once planning consent for the project has been granted.
HIE is leading the development, with a £2.5m grant from the UK Space
Agency (UKSA), which is also funding two launch companies that plan to
use the facility.
WOODBINE, Ga. (Spaceport Camden PR)–The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has notified Camden County, Georgia that it has completed an initial review of the Spaceport Camden Launch Site Operator License application and found it to be complete enough to accept and begin the 180-day review process. According to the FAA it “anticipate[s] making a license determination, in accordance with 14 CFR § 413.15, on or before December 16, 2019.”
PARIS (ESA PR) — Portugal is developing the infrastructure for a national spaceport on one of the islands of the Azores archipelago, Santa Maria, a European launch and landing location for small satellites.
As an ESA Member State, Portugal has requested ESA’s tailored expertise and technical assistance in an agreement signed on 21 June by ESA Director General Jan Wörner and Manuel Heitor, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education. (more…)
SCOLPAIG, Scotland (Western Isles Council PR) — North Uist is set to enter the space age as a project to create the UK’s first ever vertical launch commercial space port is unveiled today.
The consortium behind the Spaceport 1 project, which includes major players in the UK and international space sector and is led by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), is proposing to build a new Spaceport at Scolpaig on the north-west coast of North Uist.
The CBCreports that the Nova Scotia Environmental Department has given an approval with conditions for the construction of a spaceport where Ukrainian Cylcone 4M launch vehicles would operate.
Environment Minister Gordon Wilson said he was satisfied any significant environmental effects of the Maritime Launch Services (MLS) project could be mitigated with compliance to the department’s conditions.
“I think we’ve made the right decision on ensuring that all the environmental impacts and the safety of the people in the area have been looked at and addressed in the terms of conditions of this approval,” said Wilson.
“Our staff did a very good job in engaging consultants who were understanding of this type of activity.”
Among the conditions, MLS will be required to submit information on expected air emissions of pollutants during regular operations and worst-case scenarios, including the maximum distance downwind that would need to be evacuated.
UK Space Agency opens £2 million [$2.54 million] development fund for horizontal spaceflight
Existing airports could develop new infrastructure to allow aircraft or spaceplanes to take off and deploy satellites in space
Horizontal spaceport runways also offer an attractive option for space tourism in the future.
LONDON (UKSA PR) — Future spaceports can apply for a share of £2 million [$2.54 million] to support plans for small satellite launch from aircraft and sub-orbital flight from the UK, Science Minister Chris Skidmore announced today.
SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — The UK Space Agency has confirmed that three organisations have been awarded over £350,000 [$457.5 million] in grant funding for the development of commercial range control services at multiple spaceport sites across the country.
The successful applicants Telespazio VEGA UK Ltd, Deimos Space UK Ltd and Heliaq UK Ltd will use the funding to develop a business plan and initial concept of operations to offer range services from the UK on a commercial basis.
The 2018 Space Industry Act enables companies to use cutting edge technology while also safeguarding public safety. Range control services are vital to this and include activities such as tracking rockets and spaceplanes in flight, as well as notifying users of airspace when launches are taking place.
CUMBERLAND ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE, Ga. (Protect Cumberland Island PR – A document proving that the Cumberland Island National Seashore’s expected casualty rates from launches at Spaceport Camden exceed FAA limitations has been legally obtained from Camden County by a local citizen under the Georgia Open Records Act (GORA).
The document was included in a large batch of documents sent to a Camden County resident, Steve Weinkle, as part of a GORA request.
GRANTOWN-ON-SPEY, Scotland (Shetland Space Center PR) — The Shetland Space Centre today announces a major partnership with ArianeGroup.
The joint venture, equally owned by Airbus and Safran and lead contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launchers, will define a concept of operations and assess the range of missions for the SSC spaceport project in the frame of a three-month study. The spaceport will be designed from the ground up to be a commercial facility operated by SSC.
Nikkei Asian Review reports on efforts to establish a new spaceport in Japan.
All Nippon Airways operator ANA Holdings and trading house Marubeni will set up a spaceport in Japan as early as 2021, Nikkei has learned.
The launch site, equivalent to a seaport for ships or an airport for aircraft, will be for private space travel, and feature 3-km runways for craft that take off horizontally like airplanes….
The two companies, together with four other partners — including Airbus Japan, satellite broadcaster Sky Perfect JSAT and real estate company Mitsui Fudosan — have established a company named Spaceport Japan to advance the project. The Tokyo-based team will begin work on Friday.
ANA is working with PD Aerospace on developing a suborbital space plane.