• Travis Fawcett


Updated: Dec 5, 2018

Orbital Access Limited (OAL), a UK based launch systems and aerospace services business, and Spaceport Cornwall have announced their partnership at the UK Space Conference 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

The aim of the partnership is to collaborate in the development of Spaceport Cornwall and to establish Orbital Access as a principal operator. Spaceport Cornwall comprises Cornwall Airport Newquay, Goonhilly Earth Station and the wider space and aerospace supply chain in Cornwall.

The collaboration is also part of a bid for a grant from the UK Space Agency to establish cost effective end-to-end launch services from an operational UK spaceport by 2020, as set out in the draft UK Spaceflight Bill.

OAL has also confirmed the impending establishment of a new office at Goonhilly Earth Station.

With an estimated economic value of more than £5.9 billion by 2030, the UK spaceport and launcher project will contribute significantly to the UK’s space industry, provide new jobs and technologies and inspire and promote science, engineering, research and innovations to the next generation. It will create a space cluster for the fast growing small satellite industry, harnessing existing entities – such as Goonhilly Earth Station – and a wide range of new UK aerospace companies, academic institutions and specialist contractors.

Stuart McIntyre, chief executive officer, OAL said: “We are looking forward to working closely with Spaceport Cornwall and the local space community as the project develops. The location is ideal for our Orbital 500R air-launched payload system, which is a horizontal take-off and landing vehicle designed to carry small satellites into low earth orbit. Under the partnership with Spaceport Cornwall we will also open a new office at Goonhilly Earth Station very soon to continue developing our space related services. Ultimately, we will be able to offer cost effective launch services from UK spaceports as well as similar facilities anywhere in the world.”

Sandra Rothwell, Chief Executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, which is leading the Spaceport Cornwall project, said: “We’re delighted to welcome such a high profile Spaceport Cornwall partner and look forward to Orbital Access opening an office at Goonhilly. Our ambition is to develop a thriving space industry in Cornwall using our existing world-class assets to provide low cost access to space. Cornwall Airport Newquay and Goonhilly are both within our Aerohub Enterprise Zone which means we can offer a suite of incentives to inward investors, unlocking further investment into business, science, skills and future space and satellite technologies in Cornwall.”

Ian Jones, Chief Executive of Goonhilly Earth Station, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Stuart and the Orbital Access team to Goonhilly. We have great office space and technical facilities here as well as access to unparalleled satellite communications and terrestrial data connectivity. We’re delighted to be hosting Orbital Access as they continue to expand their business.”

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