LONDON: Britain could soon be sending tourists into orbit after the UK Space Agency began drafting regulations to allow human launches from spaceports in Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands.
The Government has so far vowed to put satellites into space from Britain, recently signing a deal with Virgin Orbit to start building the facilities. But now the UK Space Agency admitted it has drawn up a scheme to offer sub-orbital human spaceflight in a bid to send tourists into space. According to a report, the spaceport sites have been earmarked for Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands.
The Reports also suggest that Virgin Galactic is the most likely candidate to take tourists beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.
British astronaut Tim Peake believes it was “incredibly important” for the UK to lead the way in space tourism as it could see flight times between London and Australia to 90 minutes.
He said: “For Britain to be the first spaceport in Europe to be able to offer that service because we have the legislation in place, because we’ve sorted out our infrastructure, that will be huge.
The spaceport sites have been earmarked for Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands
“It’s a very exciting time right now. Space tourism can come under some criticism as a sport for the rich, but that’s how a lot of things in life start, that’s how aviation started.
“What might be perceived as an expensive folly today actually can in future become a very efficient means of transportation.
“If you extend Virgin Galactic’s principle of sub-orbital flight and improve the vehicles and make them with increasing endurance, you could do London-to-Sydney in an hour-and-a-half on a sub-orbital trajectory.”
Virgin Galactic’s operation is different to companies such as SpaceX, which plan to take tourists to space by rocket.