How will spaceports help the UK economy?

Spaceports will require a lot more infrastructure!

One thing that everyone can agree on is that spaceports just sound, pretty cool!

They might make you think of a bustling futuristic place with astronauts and passengers getting their space suits on, and loads of craft taking off!

But it’s not just cool, spaceports have loads of real-world uses and impacts.

It’s hoped they’ll really help businesses and members of the public in lots of ways.

For starters, spaceports will create jobs. Lots of them. Although the plan is to try and use airfields that already exist, they’ll need modifications and building work to make them suitable for space travel – from extending the runways to building vast hangers to maintain the spacecraft.

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Once completed, they’ll need people to run them smoothly – from air traffic control in the control tower to the chefs in the restaurants – and a space port would be a pretty lonely place without any spacecraft, right?

Rockets and space planes need motors, fuel tanks, high tech materials that are tough enough for orbit and computer technology to make it work together. They’ll also need vehicles to transport special equipment around.

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Where you have a spaceport, they’ll be more demand for such things, and that demand would make it easier for engineering companies to get inventing and improve the existing technology.

Another way spaceports will help is in the delivery of small satellites into orbit. Currently, whatever their size, satellites are launched using large rockets. That’s not cost effective if your satellite is say the size of a sandwich box!

So if there was an easy and cheap way to launch it, that could be big business.

All of this doesn’t even take into account tourism!

Whilst you might have to wait a while for a trip to Jupiter, it’s very likely that it will be possible to use space planes to travel around the Earth more quickly – say a couple of hours to Australia. That’s less time in the air before you get to the beach!

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