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West airport to pioneer space travel?

By HEGuyH  |  Posted: July 15, 2014

How space travel could look in Virgin colours

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CORNWALL could host the UK's first dedicated base for spaceplanes, according to new government plans.

Ministers want to establish the UK spaceport by 2018 - the first of its kind outside of the US.

Eight aerodromes have been shortlisted, and Newquay is one of the potential locations.

Six of the eight potential sites are in Scotland, the other in Wales.

The Scottish government said only independence would lead to a greater development of the country's space industry.

For ministers and the space industry, the major interest in a UK spaceport is as a facility to enable satellite launches, but hopefully it would also become a centre for the new tourism initiatives from specialist operators such as Virgin Galactic and XCor.

Ahead of the announcement at this week's Farnborough Airshow, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander hinted that Scotland could become a key player in the UK government's future plans for developing commercial space travel.

He said: "I am delighted that the government is pushing forward with its ambitious plans to open a spaceport in the UK by 2018. Spaceports will be key to us opening up the final frontier of commercial space travel.

"Scotland has a proud association with space exploration. We celebrated Neil Armstrong's Scottish ancestry when he became the first man on the Moon and only last week an amazing Scottish company was responsible for building the UK Space Agency's first satellite.

"The UK space industry is one of our great success stories and I am sure there will be a role for Scotland to play in the future."

Spaceplane systems may need runway lengths of 3,000m and more

Earlier this week, UKube-1, a satellite built by Glasgow-based technology firm Clyde Space, successfully launched on a test flight from Kazakhstan.

It was the first ever spacecraft to be fully assembled in Scotland.

Read more from Torquay Herald Express

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  • whitehonkey  |  July 16 2014, 2:07PM

    the only thing that Scotland could launch is a flying haggis,

  • Chaos  |  July 15 2014, 6:21PM

    Newquay stands no chance. If the decision is made before the Scottish referendum, it will go to one of the Scottish sites, to keep the Scot's happy and hope they say NO. If it's after the referendum then it will go to Wales. There's more political clout and seats to be gained than the West Country.

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  • iseveryidused  |  July 15 2014, 10:18AM

    Unfortunately, after arriving back safely from space, you will have to catch a bus around Teignmouth cos it's a bit choppy...

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