Government shares spaceport plans to bring Cornwall one step closer to space travel in 2022

Demolition work has already begun at Newquay Airport, where Spaceport will be based. Credit: ITV

Government plans to launch rockets into space from Cornwall next summer have been shared in parliament.

New regulations agreed by the UK Space Agency and the Civil Aviation Authority aim to launch space aircraft for the first time in the summer of 2022.

It is hoped the project will lead to better mobile data connectivity, revolutionise satnavs and earth observation and enhance the way people live, work, travel and interact with our planet.

The plans also look at longer-term opportunities, such as paving the way for space tourism.

Spaceport Cornwall, which is based at Newquay's airport, is also expected to create hundreds of jobs.

In January 2021, the first successful Virgin Orbit test launched in America. Credit: Spaceport America/Airboyd

Minister for Transport Rachel Maclean says it would be a "massive boost" for Cornwall with the support of a major international player, Virgin.

She said: "It shows confidence that Virgin has signed to setup and launch there. On the back of that, there will be a lot more investment as they bring in their supply chain and partners as well."

However, the environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion says the project goes "completely against" the government's zero carbon emissions target by 2030.

Cornwall Council has approved spending £10million pounds of taxpayer's money on the project - a sum which campaigner Oliver Baines says should be spent elsewhere.

Spaceport says the regulations are the "last piece of the puzzle" that they need to launch safely next year.

One fully approved by parliament, Spaceport can apply for a licence which will allow them to launch a satellite from the base in Cornwall.


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