Britain narrows its competition for spaceport

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

The competition heats up: The British government has down-selected its choices for a future spaceport in Great Britain to six airports, two of which have already said they are not interested in taking on the job.

The remaining four sites include two in Scotland, and one each in Wales and southwestern England. If I had to choose just based on orbital mechanics, the English site would win, as it is farther south thereby capable of putting more payload in orbit for the same fuel. However, politics and pork will certainly be a factor in any final decision, as this spaceport location is being decided not by private companies but by the British government.



  • Edward

    The article suggested that the British government is considering suborbital launches more than orbital launches, so the southern-most position may not be so important, right now.

    On the other hand, the geostationary orbit could be becoming less important, now that so many companies are considering Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations. LEO constellations would prefer a higher inclination orbit for more complete global coverage, so a more northern spaceport may be desirable in the not so distant future.

  • D.K. Williams

    Why not built it on one of the British Virgin Islands?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *