Galileo suffers a setback as the UK prepares to build a new spaceport as part of a major’milestone’.
After Brexit, the United Kingdom plans to construct a new spaceport to launch rockets and satellites into orbit, aiming to compete with the EU’s Galileo system.
The Prestwick Spaceport development has begun the process of submitting a formal planning application to South Ayrshire Council.
The Prestwick site will use a method known as horizontal or air launch, which has never been used in Europe before.
This is when a plane transports a rocket containing small satellites to high altitudes above the ocean over a long distance.
The rocket then exits the aircraft, ignites its engines, and launches its payload into orbit once it is safely beyond populated areas and above the densest layer of the atmosphere.
Processing rockets and their payloads will be used in launch operations at Prestwick.
The Proposal of Application Notice (POAN) is the first step in the planning process for Prestwick Spaceport, and it indicates the intention to submit an application for planning permission in early 2022.
“Prestwick Spaceport has achieved yet another milestone by filing a POAN for its development,” said Councillor Peter Henderson, Leader of South Ayrshire Council.
“The POAN will begin the process of submitting a formal planning application for Prestwick Spaceport later this year.
“This comes after Prestwick Spaceport secured Astraius as a launch provider in September of last year.
“By securing a launch partner and kicking off the planning process, South Ayrshire is well on its way to establishing Prestwick Spaceport, ensuring an exciting future for our local communities and integrating South Ayrshire into the global space economy.”
Horizontal launch capability has never been available in Europe until now.
Prestwick Spaceport and Astraius, the leading UK-based commercial horizontal launch company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
From standard transport aircraft, Astraius will launch rockets.
They will be able to place small satellites, such as shoebox-sized CubeSats, into a variety of orbits with no modifications required.
These small satellites can be used for a variety of purposes, including monitoring climate change and tracking food supply chains to ensure that supermarket products are sourced responsibly.
Glasgow already produces and designs more CubeSats than any other city outside of the United States.
OneWeb, the world’s second-largest satellite operator, is building an advanced satellite network to provide. A new spaceport that launches small satellites into orbit could be a huge boost for Britain’s OneWeb satellite network, which has now moved its satellite production to the UK.
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