The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office and the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense will launch a joint mission this summer on Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket.
Plans to host the first orbital launches from the United Kingdom this year are moving ahead despite uncertainty about when regulators will grant licenses for those launches.
Sierra Space, the new space subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corporation, announced June 9 that it signed an initial agreement with a British spaceport that could lead to landings of the company’s Dream Chaser vehicle there.
ABL Space Systems will conduct a launch for Lockheed Martin from a new spaceport in the Shetland Islands, fulfilling an agreement with the British government announced in 2018.
The U.K. Space Agency will provide $9.5 million for infrastructure at a British airport that seeks to host Virgin Orbit’s air-launch system.
The U.K. Space Agency and a local government announced plans June 4 to invest in facilities at a British airport to support launch operations by Virgin Orbit.
Lockheed VP: “As the UK develops its space industry further, I think you’ll see bigger economics from the mini-satellites and the value they create from data."
While Lockheed Martin continues to suggest it will use Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket at a Scottish launch site announced at the beginning of this week, company officials said July 17 they have yet to formally select a vehicle to fly at the site.
A British company has released new details about a small satellite launch vehicle it expects to have ready in the next few years, part of a growing number of ventures seeking to build and launch rockets from the country.
The consortium has met with local officials and submitted a proposal to the U.K. Space Agency, with a goal of having the facility operational by 2020.
The UK Space Agency said the grants are worth up to £10 million ($12.5 million) but launches must begin by 2020.
The British government has emphatically endorsed its investment in the 22-nation European Space Agency and rejected a parliamentary proposal that its space budget be more evenly divided between ESA and a national program.
The British government has awarded feasibility-study contracts to five industrial teams that want to operate orbital or suborbital launch vehicles from British territory on a commercial basis.