The UK’s rural areas are being scouted for a big space tourism project by Virgin Galactic, a British spaceflight company within the Virgin Group. Space tourism seeks to give tourists the ability to become astronauts and experience space travel for recreational, leisure, or business purposes. Conservative Chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee David Morris spoke to about why this was good news for the UK.

He said: “The reason that Virgin want to have a space port down in the southwest of England is because space tourism would work so well from that point there.

“If you put a spaceship up into the upper atmosphere of the Earth into lower space, from there you will see literally everything from the north down to the equator.

“You will see quite a large area of the Earth from up there so space tourism is very beneficial for the UK.

“We’re placed to do that and the weather is more conducive further south we go to doing this kind of a project.”

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Mr Morris continued: “The UK is not just about putting up satellites. We’ve got space tourism coming along, we’ve also got other applications that we can use, and we’re very good at doing that.

“So I do think it’s a very positive outlook for the UK industry.

“The UK Space Agency has been working very hard over the years to ensure that.

“I do think it’s now time that we had a dedicated Space Minister that brings all of this together and brings partners in touch with one another under a banner of where we want to go with it.”

Mr Morris added: “To give you an example, the preferred areas for space ports are rural areas.

“We have mainly ballistic capabilities that we’re trying to develop so we can send our own satellites up into orbit in the more remote rural areas, the ones that are more north because of trajectories and securities as far as sending any ballistic missiles into the air.

“So we’re looking at trying to put investment into those areas so that we can enhance the capabilities of ballistics.

“We have the ITAR agreement with the Americans so if we send anything up it doesn’t contravene anything to do with ballistic missiles and military and all the rest of it.

“It’s very beneficial for Scotland and the rest of the UK to remain a united kingdom in that respect.”



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