UK Takes Aim at Commercial Spaceflight


Skylon – Credit Reaction Engines Ltd

A article reports a spaceport in the United Kingdom may be possible by 2018.

Pending a regulatory report to be published this July and a technical feasibility study that is underway with the country’s National Space Technology Programme (NSTP), it is possible that the country could host a spaceport within the next five years.

A new National Space Flight Coordination Group, chaired by the U.K. Space Agency, will oversee these reports and the future work for this U.K. spaceport. Government officials hope this will be the start of commercial spaceflight for the country.

Rob Coppinger reports the United Kingdom’s first Spaceport could be at Lossiemouth, which is already home to one of the largest Royal Air Force (RAF) bases in the country.

At 57.7°N Lossiemouth would be the most northerly Commercial Spaceport in the World. Lossiemouth is slightly further North than the Kodiak spaceport in Alaska which is at 57.4°N.

Read the article at

AMSAT-UK at National Student Space Conference Bristol Feb 23-24

FUNcube-1 flight model - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

FUNcube-1 flight model – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Jim Heck G3WGM, Honorary Secretary of AMSAT-UK and project lead on the FUNcube amateur radio satellite project, will be giving a presentation on FUNcube-1 to the UKSEDS National Student Space Conference (NSSC) that takes place in Bristol on February 23-24.

The NSSC is an annual event that brings together students, academics, and professionals from across the country to share knowledge of space, discuss the challenges facing the sector, and to create new links between groups. It features talks by leading space science and industry figures, and opportunities to take part in discussions and networking events.

UKSEDS National Student Space Conference Bristol 2013This year’s NSSC is hosted by Bristol SEDS, part of the Bristol CHAOS Physics society, at the University of Bristol School of Physics.

The impressive line up of speakers includes Alan Bond of Reaction Engines Ltd on the SKYLON Development Programme and John Thatcher of Astrium Satellites Ltd who’ll be talking about MIRI & the James Webb Space Telescope.

Further information on the conference is at

BBC Report on the UK Skylon Spaceplane

Skylon in Orbit 640BBC News report on Skylon, designed to be an unpiloted spaceplane by the UK company Reaction Engines Limited (REL). It uses a combined-cycle, air-breathing rocket engine to reach orbit in a single stage.

The report by BBC Science correspondent Jonathan Amos along with a video report by BBC science editor David Shukman on Skylon engine tests and audio interviews with both Alan Bond, REL managing director, and Dr. Mark Ford are available at

Reaction Engines Ltd (REL)