Spaceport Cornwall takes a major step forward with confirmation that Cornwall Airport Newquay is the chosen location for horizontal orbital flights

Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, has welcomed the confirmation that Cornwall Airport Newquay is the first choice for Virgin Orbit for horizontal space flights in the near future, with an official announcement due on 16 July at Farnborough Air Show.

Commenting, Steve said:

“I am absolutely delighted to see the confirmation that Virgin Orbital has chosen Cornwall as the base for its horizontal launch facility in the UK. This shows a clear commitment from the Government that Newquay is the best location for horizontal launches of commercial orbital craft.”

“Horizontal launch is a new technology that is still in development but is clearly the future for space launch.  There is still further work to be done to secure the potential opportunities for satellite launch and I am pleased that the government will be allocating further funding and committed to work with Spaceport Cornwall to achieve this. However this is a significant step forward in this process.”

“Bringing the spaceport to Cornwall has been one of my top priorities since becoming MP, something I have worked long and hard to bring from pipe dream to reality. Along with the teams at Cornwall Airport Newquay, Cornwall LEP and Cornwall Council we have worked hard to put together a strong business case to ensure our unique properties mean we were the best choice for horizontal launches.”

“This decision has the potential to unlock previously  unheard  levels of economic  investment to Cornwall, bring in hundreds of high tech, high skilled jobs and provide the priceless inspiration for future generations of Cornish children to reach for the stars.”

“I look forward to working with all concerned to moving toward the first launches from Cornwall.”

Commenting, Science Minister Sam Gyimah said:

 “The announcement of a strategic partnership between Virgin Orbit and Cornwall Spaceport is great news for the region and the UK’s ambitions for regular, reliable and responsible access to space. This partnership could see Virgin Orbit’s innovative horizontal launch technology helping the UK’s small satellite industry access space from the convenience of a Spaceport in Cornwall. We will work with both partners to support their ambitions, as we take the next steps in our national spaceflight programme as part of the government’s modern Industrial strategy.”