Launch UK: A Guide to the UK’s Commercial Spaceports

The UK Space Agency has published a new brochure – Launch UK:  A Guide to the UK’s Commercial Spaceports – which describes the numerous advantages of launching from the UK, and the great strengths of the UK space industry.

The solution is recognised as a legitimate launch option by both the DfT and CAA in the new Space Industry Regulations but is not listed in the brochure.  Whilst the Regulations do not define the system as a Spaceport, this should not preclude any recognition to Black Arrow (or Horizon Spacefleet) as a bona fide UK-based launch service.

Black Arrow’s mission is to design and manufacture systems and launch vehicles, and to operate the spacefleet from the UK, based in Port Talbot, South Wales.  This will generate significant numbers of high value jobs in England and Wales, both through direct employment and through our supply chain in the space, aerospace and maritime industries.

The UK Space Agency’s self-confessed role is to encourage the development of an inclusive, broadly-based space industry throughout the UK.  Such stated inclusivity and “levelling up”, especially to Wales and Northern Ireland, is not apparent.

Black Arrow Space Technologies has not received any funding from the Space Agency thus far, and we are disappointed that their support has not stretched as far as a listing in the new Launch UK brochure.

The Space Agency also has a role to “develop strong global relationships” with partners across the world.  Whilst we have had some fruitful informal discussions with Ireland about our plans to launch from the Atlantic, South West of Ireland, we understand that there has been no contact with Ireland from the Space Agency about any aspect of the UK’s space ambitions.

We look forward to cooperation from the Agency and the UK Government as we move into our operational phase.

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