Richard Brandson hints at Virgin Galactic Cornwall space tourism
Sir Richard Branson has hinted that space tourism flights could take off from Spaceport Cornwall.
The Virgin boss is already part of the Spaceport Cornwall project through his company Virgin Orbit, which plans to launch small satellites into orbit from Spaceport Cornwall.
But in a newspaper interview this weekend, Sir Richard reportedly hinted that his company Virgin Galactic – which plans to launch tourists into space – could also use Spaceport Cornwall in Newquay.
Speaking to The i newspaper, Sir Richard explained why Spaceport Cornwall was chosen for use by Virgin Orbit.
The Virgin boss is said to have said he had fond memories of vacationing in Cornwall as a child and also points to the support Virgin Orbit has had in Cornwall.
The Virgin Orbit spacecraft that could fly from Spaceport Cornwall in the future
He said: âIts location works very well, which allows us to take off over the sea, and the support from Cornwall Council and Spaceport has been tremendous. ”
Virgin Orbit uses modified jumbo jets to launch small satellites into space – the system has been tested in the United States and the first launch from Spaceport Cornwall is scheduled for March 2022.
The report in the i also claims that Sir Richard “is also hinting that it may not just be satellites launched from Newquay.” There is, he says, no reason why his company Virgin Galactic cannot send space tourists beyond Earth’s atmosphere from the southwest of England in the near future as well â .
Some also claim that Sir Richard could be in Cornwall this summer when the G7 summit is held in Carbis Bay in June.
It is suggested that Virgin Orbit could bring its Cosmic Girl jet to Newquay Airport “as President Biden arrives in Air Force One”.
Sir Richard is quoted as saying: “There is some sort of talk about the possibility of doing something in Cornwall around the G7.”
The report in the i also indicates that Virgin Orbit could go public.
Virgin Orbit chief executive Dan Hart reportedly said a listing was seen as a way to raise funds for the company.
Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart visits Spaceport Cornwall
Spaceport Cornwall is run through a partnership between Cornwall Council, Virgin Orbit and Goonhilly Earth Station.
It is scheduled for Cornwall Newquay Airport and work is currently underway to prepare the spaceport for launch next year.
The project is currently waiting for the government to finalize the legislation necessary for space ports to apply for an operating license.
The project has raised concerns in terms of financial support provided by the council and the environmental impact of the spaceport.
However, supporters have pointed out that the spaceport could attract a number of companies in the space industry, stimulate the economy and create well-paying and highly skilled jobs in Cornwall.