Richard Branson provides the UK a big boost by launching Virgin Orbit into space from Cornwall.

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Richard Branson provides the UK a big boost by launching Virgin Orbit into space from Cornwall.

SIR RICHARD BRANSON has given the UK a big boost by announcing that his Virgin Orbit company will launch into space as early as next year from Cornwall.

Last week, the billionaire was launched 53 miles into space aboard his Virgin Galactic rocket jet. Sir Richard arrived at Spaceport America in the New Mexico desert safely just over an hour later, calling the journey a “once in a lifetime” adventure. However, he has chosen the United Kingdom as his “European hub” for sending small satellites into Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) under his Virgin Orbit brand.

Spaceport Cornwall, as Sir Richard’s “major delivery partner,” may host the first launches as early as 2022, generating up to 350 jobs and £200 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) for the local economy.

Using and developing new business prospects in Cornwall was always a crucial element of the plan, according to Stephen Eisele, vice president of business development at Virgin Orbit.

“It is a significant part of who we are here, it is not about us providing a launch service, it is about providing a space ecosystem and delivering sustainable access to space,” he told Cornwall Live.

“We want to assist Cornwall generate new opportunities, including launch but also satellites and downstream applications, software, app development, and so on – and a lot of that will be based on data from space satellites. It’s thrilling.

“The United Kingdom has an amazing space industry; there are so many things in place, such as colleges working on this, STEM education, manufacturing, and so on.

“The only thing you’re missing is the launch; we’ll provide that, but we’re only one part of the puzzle.” You will have complete access to space once you have launched.”

Mr Eisele stated that when Virgin Orbit first examined Cornwall as a launch site, they were “pleasantly surprised by what we saw.”

He explained that much of the spaceport’s supply chain was already in place.

“If we bring the rocket over and discover we need a component, we don’t want to have to wait for it to come from the US,” he said. But we’ve identified a firm here that can create these components – they weren’t able to previously, but now they can.

Brinkwire Summary News” says, “There are.”

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