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British Spaceflight

Flyaway

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Introduction of Space Industry Bill shows UK’s commitment to commercial spaceflight

From: Department for Transport, UK Space Agency, and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Published: 28 June 2017

The Space Industry Bill has been introduced into the House of Lords, marking the first step in the process to create new laws and regulatory framework to enable exciting new technologies to operate safely from the UK.

The Bill, which was outlined in the Queen’s Speech, is a clear signal of the UK’s commitment to enabling commercial spaceflight from UK spaceports, and a key part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy to ensure the UK businesses capture a share of this emerging global market.

Lord Callanan, Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Transport introduced the Space Industry Bill, which is a joint initiative by the Department for Transport, UK Space Agency and Civil Aviation Authority supported by the Health and Safety Executive.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said:

"The Space Industry Bill will ensure the UK remains a leading player in the commercial space age by enabling small satellite launch from UK spaceports. The measures in the Bill will help make the UK the most attractive place in Europe for commercial launch and enable UK businesses to capture a growing share of this emerging global market."

The emerging markets for small satellite launch and sub-orbital flight are forecast to be worth over £25 billion globally over the next 20 years. They offer exciting opportunities to grow the UK space sector, create local jobs and inspire the next generation of British scientists and engineers.

The main elements of the Bill are:

- new powers to license a wide range of spaceflight activities, including vertically-launched rockets, spaceplanes, satellite operation, spaceports and other technologies
- a comprehensive and proportionate regulatory framework to manage risk, ensuring that commercial spaceflight in the UK remains safe
- measures to regulate unauthorised access and interference with spacecraft, spaceports and associated infrastructure, drawing on the UK’s extensive expertise – particularly in aviation security
- measures to promote public safety by providing a regulatory framework to cover operational insurance, indemnity and liability

This legislation will ensure the UK can take advantage of new markets, overcome dependence on foreign launch services and benefit from the development of new spaceports and supply chains.
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https://www.gov.uk/government/news/introduction-of-space-industry-bill-shows-uks-commitment-to-commercial-spaceflight
 

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The first commercial astronaut training center will be built in the UK

The government's mission to put the UK at the forefront of commercial spaceflight has been given a big boost after plans were announced to build the world's first private space research centre in Bedfordshire. The £120 million Blue Abyss facility will be constructed at RAF Henlow, providing domestic and international companies with access to the world's biggest 50 metre deep pool, a 120 room hotel, an astronaut training centre and a "human performance centre" that will help divers, astronauts and athletes train at the very top level.

The base, which is set to fully close in 2020, already houses some of the facilities that paid-for astronauts need to acclimatise to the rigours of space. Its centrifuge base, for example, will expose space-goers to extreme G forces as part of their commercial astronaut training programme. The idea is to provide the necessary services needed by private spaceflight providers to get their passengers launch ready.

The pool, which will be three times deeper than NASA's 12 metre Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), won't just be used for space projects. Offshore oil, gas and renewable companies will be invited to test their equipment in Blue Abyss' waters. Submersibles will also be welcome, allowing companies to test underwater vehicles in "extreme environments."

https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/28/uk-blue-abyss-world-first-commercial-space-research-centre/
 

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Deep-space communication base coming to Cornwall

An £8.4 million space communication base to track missions to the Moon and Mars will be created in Cornwall.
Goonhilly Earth Station, in the Lizard peninsula, will upgrade one of its satellite antenna in the project.
The European Space Agency (ESA) say this will make it a "key player" in the "exciting future" of space exploration.
The agency says more deep-space communication facilities, used for missions such as Gaia and ExoMars, are needed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-43153107
 

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U.K. Space Industry Act to future-proof against Brexit

The U.K. Space Industry Act, passed last month, aims to “future-proof” the country’s space sector as it faces the challenging Brexit period while striving to become a major global space player.

The bill, however, only provides ‘bare bones’ of the future growth-enabling legislation with details including questions of liability and licensing to be established by secondary legislation following consultations.

Newman said the uncertainty around the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, which is due to take place in March 2019, has been a significant motivation behind the new bill.

“The U.K. government hope that the Space Industry Act will provide further impetus to space manufacturing within the U.K. economy, given the potential for disruption that could occur with Brexit,” he said. “We are in a situation when we don’t really know how Brexit is going to affect the space industry in the long term.”

In fact, the European Commission, according to media reports, already indicated that British companies might be excluded from future participation on Galileo, due to security concerns. The British military might also be prevented from using the encrypted positioning data the constellation provides.

The U.K.’s ambition is to stay fully involved in the Galileo program and maintain full access to the data.

The U.K. is contributing 12 percent to the Galileo program budget and British companies build payloads and ground- control software for the satellites.

Newman said that although the U.K. is fully committed to remain in the European Space Agency, which is independent on the EU, the increasing collaboration between ESA and EU might further complicate things.

With less than a year of the U.K.’s EU membership left, Britain’s space industry, according to Newman, still doesn’t know, how the future arrangements will look like.

“At the minute, there are too many unknown factors to make any meaningful predictions, and that uncertainty can’t be helpful,” Newman concluded.

http://spacenews.com/u-k-space-industry-act-to-future-proof-against-brexit/
 

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The UK Space Agency should be very worried by one particular development in the UK’s space activity that happened this week as there are signs that the country may actually be hampering its own progress by not appearing as an active partner in what appears to be huge milestones.

 

FighterJock

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The UK Space Agency should be very worried by one particular development in the UK’s space activity that happened this week as there are signs that the country may actually be hampering its own progress by not appearing as an active partner in what appears to be huge milestones.


What happens now to the decision to allow the construction of the spaceport in Sutherland? Will it go ahead or not? Or will there be a delay? This is all very confusing. :confused:
 

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