Government wants UK commercial spaceflights within three years

Plans for first UK commercial spaceflight launching within three years to be announced

The Government is set to announce plans for its first commercial spaceflight

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Government is to announce plans for the UK to launch its first commercial spaceflight within three years.

A draft bill is expected to be published in the next few weeks, which will provide information on how the UK can regulate and facilitate commercial spaceflights, the International Business Times said. 

The aim is to have the programme in operation by 2020.

Science minister Jo Johnson has announced that grants worth £10 million will be available to organisations which can develop commercial spaceflight capability.

Organisations which can help build spaceport infrastructure or adapt launch vehicle technology would also be eligible for a grant. 

The Government claims that small-satellite launches and sub-orbital flights would give a huge boost the economy.

Johnson said: "We want to see the UK space sector flourish. That is why we are laying the groundwork needed for business to be able to access this lucrative global market worth an estimated £25bn over the next 20 years."

Proposals for legislation were announced on Thursday (February 9) in a written statement to Parliament by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

Grayling added: "The space sector is vital to the future of the UK economy, with a strong record of creating high-value jobs and generating wealth across the country."