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back to article UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has narrowed its shortlist of potential locations for Europe's first spaceport, which would provide a UK base for future commercial space flights and satellite launches. In response to a three-month consultation on the plans, the UK government said that it had received "widespread …


        1. Anonymous Coward

          "Green" beer? (Requires no refrigeration!)

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Why would anyone want to come to the UK to do space launches?

      because the proclaimers of free enterprise and low taxation will tax the proles to give you a subsidy and a number that works in an offshore bank.,

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      "Oh no, hang on, that was fifty years ago before they cancelled the lot just as it was ready, and dismantled all the teams with their accumulated experience and expertise. And then stonewalled every attempt to revive them."

      Black Arrow managed to launch a single small satellite at roughly the same time that NASA were firing 3000 ton Saturn 5 missions and driving golf buggies on the moon. They were just too under-invested and slow. The cash had all gone to Concorde.

      In fact much of the UK tech (which had begun as nuclear missile development) went to Europe as a first stage and seeded the eventual development of Arianne.

      UK is still very good at space craft though, just lost the launcher tech.

      1. Dan Paul

        Concorde WAS a spaceplane of sorts

        The US BX-70 test aircraft that the Concorde was designed on, was being tested to be a sub orbital bomber when it was canceled.

        The engines were modified so they could go self contained and use proprietary oxidizers instead of air The fuel was still JP4 but they tried several types of oxidizer, including Uranium Pentoxide. Some of that testing was done by Bell Aerospace in a facility in Ransomville, NY USA. That may have given some creedence to the rumors about contrails being bad for your health.

        If this design had all been finalized and built, the USAF could have had a plane that could have taken off from fairly conventional airports that could have operated just like the Concorde except be capable of space flight. I seem to remember there was a Pan AM version shown in 2001 A Space Odessey.

  1. Outcast


    iirc it has the second longest runway in the UK which is no longer being used and it has excellent road links to get to it.

    And it whooshes over John Majors house which is a flange benefit !!

    1. Alister Silver badge

      question, is a flange benefit greater or lesser than a fringe benefit?

      1. Toltec

        "question, is a flange benefit greater or lesser than a fringe benefit?"

        Depends if you would rather receive a benefit aimed at your fringe or your flange...

  2. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Prestwick, naturally

    Already cleared by NASA for Shuttle recovery, it's stupidly long and pretty isolated (but with rail links for bringing in the heavy bits.

  3. Jason Hindle Silver badge


    "There are good reasons to doubt that the real operational spaceports of the future will involve runways or spaceplanes. No orbit-capable, commercially significant runway spacecraft seem likely to appear on anything like the government's timeline. El Reg explores the subject in more depth here."

    I must admit, I'd assumed any space-port would be predicated on Skylon or similar.

  4. Mystic Megabyte

    And the winner is...

    The WW2 RAF base at Twatt!

  5. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    I'm assuming the minimum it requires would be...

    A local pub filled with scum and villainy, and an ION cannon with which to clear the way of other bigger and angrier spaceships.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It'll go somewhere in the south

    But not too close to the posh houses. They want to see it, not have their gin & tonic disturbed by it.

    Where is *should* go is somewhere a bit more North to help stimulate the economy up there, but when has Westminster given two shits about anything outside of the Home Counties?

    Of course, not in the UK but nearer the equator in the first damned place would be even better!

  7. loosebruce

    RAF Spadeadam

    Former testing site for development of Nuclear missiles and other rockets.

    In the middle of nowhere.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SW1A 0AA

  9. Stevie Silver badge


    Sea Pauling.

  10. BongoJoe


    The locals are hoping that it comes here because the noise from the spaceport would be infinitely less than the noise from the RAF/USAF flying at Mach five million just forty-five inches above the houses.

  11. 314thIteration

    RAF Mildenhall?

    The Americans are leaving RAF Mildenhall which has good road links, long runway, was a Shuttle Abort site and is in the East of the UK, but is a tad close to Lakenheath.

    RAF Coltishall is probably going cheap, but has been closed for a long time, only connected with awful roads and the Category 3 prison might not convey the impression of a bright new future the British Government is aiming for.

  12. BobRocket


    The runway is only 1,257 m but it could be extended.

    The nearby M.o.D. range is used for testing rockets by the British military, as well as for launching civil rockets for atmospheric research.

  13. Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen - he was #1!

    It reminds me of this

    The Britnik space station...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    West Wales?

    How about the soon to be closed Cawdor barracks... formerly USAF Brawdy.... prior to that RNAS Brawdy.

    Sparsely populated area, coastal county on the west coast, the area could do with the boost and the site has plenty of open space , runway facilities and areas for support buildings.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    planning permission

    where can I write an angry, angry letter to, protesting the horror reaching the sky by my shed and ruining my unspoilt view of over the virginal, rolling for miles tin-roofls of yesteryear?

  17. Refugee from Windows

    Formby, Lancashire

    I'm surprised, none have spotted the Dan dare connection.

  18. paulc

    RAF Marham?

    nah... the Royals won't like that, they treat it as their own personal airfield just a short distance from Sandringham...

  19. s. pam

    We put it.....

    In yoUranus!

    Wasn't that bleedingly obvious El Reg?

  20. John Done

    Britain has long been engaged in the production of satellites, but London believed that its own spaceport would significantly strengthen the position of the United Kingdom in the space industry. Their affairs are in a good position, so there are companies producing not only satellites but also rockets for cargo delivery and so on. For today, there are launch vehicles like<a href=""> Skylark L rocket </a> which can be used for microgravity experiments at a lower cost than an orbital vehicle while taking advantage of Skyrora’s environmentally conscious fuel combination.


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