Following the unsuccessful conclusion to the historic first orbital launch from UK soil, the UKspace trade association is now looking to the future with confidence that Britain’s space sector can build upon the significant achievements it has accomplished so far around launch capability.
Having completed the initial flight and release of Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket from the Cosmic Girl jet, the rocket suffered an anomaly as it prepared to release its nine payloads into their respective orbits.
UKspace President, Dr Alice Bunn, says: “We are incredibly disappointed and sad for our friends and colleagues involved with the historic first orbital launch from UK soil. We know how much time and resource has been invested into this mission and building satellites that were set to deliver a range of important services and data.
“Launching satellites is hard and failures are common, but the UK space industry has achieved so much in getting to this point, establishing a first UK spaceport and defining new regulation and critical safety procedures for orbital launches.
“I would like to congratulate all the teams involved in getting as far as we have. Space plays a crucial role in our everyday lives, and its impact will continue to grow in many areas. Therefore, we must pull together to learn from this and achieve a successful first launch in the future.”
Among the UKspace members with payloads on-board LauncherOne were AAC Clyde Space, Airbus Defence and Space, In-Space Missions Ltd, RHEA Group, Satellite Applications Catapult and Space Forge.