Could RAF Kinloss become the UK’s answer to Cape Canaveral?

RAF Kinloss may become the UK’s first spaceport

A SCOTTISH former RAF base could become home to the UK’s first spaceport within five years.


UK Science Minister David Willets signaled Kinloss barracks, in Murray, could be home to the UK’s space industry by 2018.
The UK Government backed calls from the lucrative industry to create a spaceport by 2018, with hopes space tourists will take off from the base.
Formerly the home of the RAF’s fleet of Nimrod patrol aircraft, it became an Army base when the Nimrod was cancelled in the coalition government’s defence shake-up.
The Conservative MP hinted the former RAF base could be used, saying: “You could imagine a location in Scotland where RAF bases that they are moving away from, where you could launch vehicles across the North Sea.”

The site could be used to launch satellites, or possibly become a home for Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceplane which plans to ferry high-paying tourists into space. 

Willets said at a space industry forum: “I like the ambition for a UK spaceport by 2018. We are absolutely up for supporting that development.”

Expert George Fraser, of Leicester University, said Kinloss would be the ideal site for a spaceport.

He said: “I think in the UK, Kinloss is as good asite as one can think of, it’s got all the infrastructure and hangars.”

RAF Lossiemouth had previously been considered as a base for the spacecraft, but the base if still being used for Typhoon jets.

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