Cornwall joins the space race with two small satellites to be launched from the county this year

Cornwall joins the space race when it emerges that two small satellites will be launched from the county this year

  • The satellites will take off on the Virgin Orbit Launcher One rocket from Newquay Airport
  • They will provide high-tech imaging sensors and allow the UK to monitor the Earth
  • The rocket will be launched 35,000 feet above the ocean on a modified Boeing 747
  • Space technology is said to be “crucial for the development of defense capabilities”

Cornwall will join the space race when it launches two satellites the size of a shoebox this summer.

The so-called cubesats will take off on the Virgin Orbit Launcher One rocket from Newquay airport equipped with the Ministry of Defense observation kit.

They will provide high-tech imaging sensors and enable the UK to monitor the Earth and oceans.

Jeremy Quin, defense procurement minister, said such space technology is “crucial for the development of defense capabilities”.

The satellite rocket will be launched 35,000 feet above the ocean on a modified Boeing 747.

The Virgin Orbit Launcher One rocket, pictured in the Newquay airport hangar in August last year, will be equipped with a Ministry of Defense observation kit.

Once released, they will be catapulted into orbit at 8,000 miles per hour.

Measuring approximately 30cm long, 20cm wide and 10cm deep, the shoebox-sized satellite launch will be the first from British soil.

Quin said: “Space technology is critical to the development of defense capabilities.

“This collaboration with In-Space Missions and Airbus paves the way for the UK to become a more resilient, more robust and more meaningful global space entity.”

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