Virgin Orbit spaceport plans in the UK when it is launched in 2022


Sir Richard Branson's rocket company aims to open a spaceport in Newquay by the spring of 2022, when the first satellites are launched from British soil. to Mars, Venus, and the Moon within the next three or four years.

It was hoped that the horizontal launch site would be operational by October this year, but delays caused by the virus pandemic have slowed the date.

Although there has been talking that the spaceport site could one day launch fee-paying space tourists on recreational suborbital flights, the Virgin Orbit chief said human spaceflights are not currently part of the company's plans for the facility.

Virgin Orbit will use Spaceport Cornwall to launch small satellites into space on LauncherOne, a two-stage rocket that moves into orbit, where it can carry payloads of about 660 pounds (300 kilograms) into low Earth orbit.

The Spaceport Cornwall development is expected to create around 150 jobs and allow the UK to compete in the global market for deploying small satellites into Earth orbit, an industry expected to be worth £3.9 billion by 2030 and which Branson hopes to capitalize on.

Virgin Orbit has succeeded in putting its first satellites into space, after launching ten payloads from under the wing of a 747 that was launched from the Mojave Desert in California.

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