UK planning locations of spaceport sites: Where, how, and why?

Where will the first UK spaceport be?

We have exciting news and it’s that there’s gonna be spaceports in the UK!

We could have them within the next five years, helping to launch satellites and send supplies to the International Space Station.

In time, maybe people like you and me will fly from them into space! How cool would that be?

At the moment, when a European space company wants to send something into space, it has to send them a long way, even as far away as Brazil and Australia.

So just think, how much time and money could be saved by only having to move a payload a few miles to the nearest spaceport.

If you think about it, airports are often a little way outside of the areas where people live and it’s not hard to see why. Not everyone wants to live under a flight path…

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It’s safer if planes are taking off and landing where there’s plenty of space. It’s the same for spacecrafts and rockets – in fact, even more so!

Spacecraft carry a lot more fuel than aeroplanes and so to maximise safety, it would be good if they were a long way from where people live or work.

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Luckily, there’s already a short list of places for spaceports in the UK. Cornwall and Scotland are big choices.

They’re right on the coast and already have a very long runways, both used by the RAF – so they’re used to a bit of noise!

Even further north, there’s Unst – the most northern island in the Shetlands. It’s so far north that rockets lifting off from the island could fly straight into orbit without passing over any populated areas.

Whilst being in remote locations is great for safety, it’s a bit tricky to get to them, especially if you’re aiming at space tourism.

More railways or roads might need to be built to help us get there- or even more airlinks if you’re going all the way to Unst!

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