The whole world has been fascinated by UK rockets, especially as the nation has been making huge improvements in its space sector. This article looks at space launches in the UK.

As UK rockets launch costs are decreasing and new technologies appear every day, this has opened up ample opportunities for new entrants into the market. It’s strange to think that only a handful of countries could afford to go into space a decade ago. If you were to describe Britain’s contribution to the space sector then, you’d probably think only of the British National Space Centre, but times have been changing. The UK space agency has made substantial improvements over the years. The British market is now flooded with new companies, space startups, academic institutions, and scientific research organisations. Let’s find out more.  

The UK Market

Britain has world-class space institutions and technology expertise, and the government is keen to help it grow. The government is working to increase the UK market share of the space sector, hoping to increase it to 15% of the world space market by 2030. 

The government has ambitious plans to be the first country in the European region to offer companies end-to-end direct routes to launch. They want to inject more money into areas such as Scotland to boost the small satellite launch industry. The government is also keen for international scientists and space tourists to make their way up and through the atmosphere. All of the services it is looking to boost will bring new economic prosperity and highly skilled jobs to communities, benefiting the whole nation.

Geography on its Side

Fortunately, the United Kingdom is one of the best places for satellite launches and space innovations. Most development has focused on Scotland because it has a high up longitude, making it ideal for sending small satellites up into the Lower Earth Orbit. Along with this, the country has numerous remote areas, making it easy to build spaceports and launch satellites without disturbing both wildlife and local citizens.

Government Efforts

The UK Space Agency has been working with the Civil Aviation Authority to refine the Space Industry Act. The government wants responsible and safe spaceflights to take place, and it is currently giving grants to turbocharge commercial activity. It is hoping that in the years to come, the UK will be the number one region for launching small satellites, overtaking any European country.

The government has also been working hard to foster agreements with international organisations, ensuring that the United Kingdom can collaborate with various overseas companies. This collaboration will grow the UK space market and put more money into conducting spaceflight missions from within the UK.

On top of all this, a lot of money is being invested by the government into up-and-coming space launch technology, including hypersonic travel and manufacturing in-orbit space technologies. The small satellite market is booming, and this is something that the UK government wants industry to capitalise on. Added consolations of small satellites will improve telecommunications, data sharing and will create thousands of jobs for British people. 


Upcoming Launches

Perhaps the most exciting government efforts have been the development of legislation to allow launches. New legislation may mean that Britain will be able to launch several UK rockets from four different sites in 2022. These will be the first launches of their kind in Europe. If everything goes to plan, UK will be the first nation in the European region launched that lights up into space. Currently, the legislation is focused on allowing licences for commercial launches in Scotland, Cornwall and Wales.


The World Needs UK Rockets

It’s incredible how hard the British space programme has been worked on. Hopefully, now that you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to see just how credible the UK space market is. The UK certainly has what it takes to beat Europe when it comes to space launch operations and technology. The government is pulling out all the stops to bring prosperity to the space industry, and highly likely in the future, the majority of small satellite launch operations will be based in Britain.


Where do you think UK satellite spaceports should be built? Do you think Scotland is the ideal location? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share them in the comments section below