Britain’s Space Mission: Troubles at Premiere

Status: 01/10/2023 03:11 a.m

Britain is hoping for space travel as a job engine. But there were problems with the first launch from British soil. A rocket launched from an airplane never made it into orbit.

According to the US company Virgin Orbit involved, unexpected problems arose during the night with the planned satellite launch in Great Britain. “It appears that an anomaly prevented us from reaching orbit,” the company tweeted. You evaluate the information.

The attempt to launch a space rocket from British soil for the first time has failed for the time being. A converted Boeing 747 passenger plane had sent the 21 meter long rocket from Cornwall on its journey. At an altitude of around 10,000 kilometers, the rocket separated from the aircraft and continued its flight independently. According to Virgin Orbit, however, there were problems when entering the atmosphere. The rocket was supposed to launch nine satellites for civil and defense purposes.

British billionaire Richard Branson’s space company Virgin Orbit has been conducting similar launches in the United States since 2021.

So far, starts are only possible abroad

Until now, British-built satellites have had to launch into space from spaceports abroad. Joining the “really exclusive club of launch nations” is so important because it “gives us our own access to space that we’ve never had here in the UK,” director of Spaceports Cornwall in Newquay, Melissa Thorpe, told the BBC. TV. Newquay is one of a total of seven planned spaceports in the United Kingdom. The first vertical launch of a rocket is planned in Scotland later this year.

Economic factor space travel

For a long time, satellites were only launched by state institutions. In the meantime, however, most of the spaceports in Europe are privately operated. The industry has experienced massive growth with the establishment of numerous small space start-ups. It is estimated that around 18,500 small satellites weighing less than 500 kilograms will be launched between 2022 and 2031. In the previous decade, however, there were only about 4,600.

The British government hopes that the space industry will contribute the equivalent of around 4.3 billion euros to the British economy in the coming decade and that many jobs will be created.

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