- Satellite Evolution
Through Cornwall, the UK enters a promising space industry, says GlobalData
Following the news that the first launch from the UK-based Spaceport Cornwall will take place tonight. Harry Boneham, Aerospace Analyst at GlobalData, offers his view: “While big firms with big money, such as Space X, may be considered to have the future of the space industry cornered, the truth is that there is ample room in this burgeoning sector to accommodate both existing giants such as Boeing and interlopers.
“One example of the ways newcomers can address challenges in the market is the entry of Spaceport Cornwall, and its part in the development of one of several value propositions that promise to discard historical costs associated with launching rockets into space.
“This challenge is being addressed by high-profile space firm Space X, which has invested in re-usable booster technology that promises to bring down launch costs by making launch vehicles reusable. Instead of falling off and crashing to the ground, Space X is focusing on making these vehicles land safely for further use.
“On the other hand, new industry entrant Spaceport Cornwall, is attempting to leverage a separate strand of space launch technology. Rather that launching vertically, using boosters, Spaceport Cornwall’s payloads will be launched horizontally—carried up to the high atmosphere using conventional aircraft before the rocket takes over and launches the payload into orbit.
“According to GlobalData’s report, ‘Space Systems in Aerospace and Defense – Thematic Research’, the commercialization of space is a key driver in the contemporary space systems market, with technological advances not only improving the capabilities of satellites but reducing costs throughout the supply chain. Increasingly powerful smallsats, in conjunction with retrievable and reusable launch vehicles, will mean that the global space commons are likely to be dominated by massive commercial constellations, such as SpaceX’s Starlink and Amazon’s Kuiper constellations. However, this commercialization will bring benefits to defense space systems, as cost will reduce, and capabilities increase.”