Virgin Orbit aims to launch satellites from the UK by 2020

Virgin Orbit aims to launch satellites from the UK by 2020

One of Richard Branson’s. Space companies (yes, he has more than one) are looking to launch satellite launches to British soil, with a new Virgin Spaceport based in Cornwall. The project now has the participation of the UK Space Agency, which aims to put £ 7.8 million (about $ 9.94 million) into the development of the facility.

The goal would be to have the Spaceport up and running sometime in the early 2020s, which isn’t too far off considering it’s 2019. In a blog post discussing the plan, Branson lays out his personal affection for Cornwall and the adventures you have had there. As a partial justification for the site selection.

In case you need a refresher on the Virgin family of space products, Virgin Orbit is focused on launching small satellites using a custom 747 that employs traditional land aircraft takeoff and landing to mitigate rocket costs, ahead of LauncherOne’s launch in two stages. Vessels it carries as the cargo deploys its thrusters and carries its own cargo of satellites the rest of the way into space from 30,000 feet up.

Virgin currently has a spaceport in New Mexico and its Virgin Galactic wing (which focuses on reusable passenger travel to space using its WhiteKnightTwo transport ship and SpaceShipTwo spacecraft) recently began shifting operations from California to that facility.