Welsh national park on UK Gov shortlist for space rocket launch site
The UK Government has put a Welsh national park on its shortlist for building a space rocket launch site.
Picturesque Snowdonia is on the list for possible launch sites, which includes Newquay in Cornwall, the Western Isles, and Shetland, along with a number of areas on the Scottish mainland.
The Westminster Government says it plans to develop the UK’s involvement in space exploration.
The UK Department for Transport (Dft) is set to release its response to a consultation on regulatory changes required to allow the country’s first space launch, predicted to take place within the next few years.
DfT claims that traditional rockets launched into space, high-altitude balloons and spaceplanes could all set off from UK soil once the measures are introduced.
According to UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps “the sky is no longer the limit” when it comes to the UK’s ambitions for spaceflights,” and that investing in space exploration would be “a giant leap for growth and prosperity for the whole of Great Britain.
He told the PA: “I’m committed to growing the UK’s space industry, and with the most modern piece of space legislation in the world, we are cementing our leading role in this sector, unlocking a new era in commercial spaceflight for all four corners of our nation.”
UK Science minister, Amanda Solloway added: “The UK’s space sector is thriving and we have bold ambitions to be the first country in Europe to launch small satellites, while building space capabilities in every corner of the UK.
“Working with our space industry, regulators and across Government, we will develop a modern, safe and flexible regulatory framework that will support a new era of sustainable commercial spaceflight across the UK.”