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Virgin Orbit Issued Licenses Before The Cornwall Space Launch

Virgin Orbit issued licenses by The United Kingdom's space agency has granted Virgin Orbit all of the necessary licenses to conduct a launch from Spaceport Cornwall. The Transport Secretary has authorized the issuance of launch operator and range control licenses by the Civil Aviation Authority.

William Willis
Dec 22, 20227371 Shares99607 Views
Virgin Orbit issued licensesby The United Kingdom's space agency has granted Virgin Orbit all of the necessary licenses to conduct a launch from Spaceport Cornwall. The Transport Secretary has authorized the issuance of launch operator and range control licenses by the Civil Aviation Authority.
The CAA called it "another key milestone" toward the first UK orbital space launch. In January, a launch should occur from Cornwall Airport Newquay, which serves as the spaceport. The launch was originally scheduled for the beginning of December, but technical difficulties caused a delay.
The Cosmic Girl 747, operated by Virgin Orbit, has been stationed at Spaceport Cornwall since the beginning of October and was quickly followed by the LauncherOne rocket, which will deliver nine satellites.
Taken all reasonable steps to ensure safety risks arising from launch activities are as low as reasonably practicable.- UK Civil Aviation Authority
This is another major milestone in enabling the very first orbital space launch from UK shores and these licences will assist Virgin Orbit with their final preparations for launch.- Tim Johnson, The Civil Aviation Authority
In November, the CAA issued a spaceport Cornwall operating license. A license is needed for each of the nine satellites, although this is widely expected to happen soon.

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How The Licence Process Was Completed

Getting this license approved by the appropriate authorities was a difficult process. Of course, proving the safety of Virgin's rocket system has been the most important need, but the company has also had to pass tests for environmental impact and suitability of its employees.
In addition, the governments of Ireland, Spain, and Portugal had to coordinate because of the launch's planned location in the middle of the Atlantic. The transition of power at Dublin's highest political post (Taoiseach) has slowed down approval in recent weeks.
The CAA has, however, fulfilled its pledge to review a request for a rocket license in under 18 months. Since the UK Civil Aviation Authority's licensing determinations were approved by Transport Secretary Mark Harper for Virgin Orbit's launch and range license, the licenses were granted.
Having shown the UK Civil Aviation Authority it has taken all reasonable precautions to ensure safety hazards deriving from launch operations are as low as reasonably possible, Virgin Orbit was able to meet the license criteria. Other necessary safety and environmental conditions were fulfilled by Virgin Orbit as well.
The space authority has also issued Virgin Orbit a range control license, allowing the corporation to send safety notifications and track the rocket's progress from a safe distance.
Within the anticipated timeframes for these sorts of licenses, the UK Civil Aviation Authority issued them in only 15 months, placing the UK's regulatory structure on the same footing as those of other international space agencies.

Orbital Launch Capabilities In UK

Investment and new employment are being created in Cornwall and other parts of the United Kingdom as a result of the nation's efforts to develop its own orbital launch capability. An estimated £16.5 billion will be generated by the expanding space industry, which will help to sustain 47,000 employees and attract even more individuals into the workforce via the use of 2,500 apprentices.
Following the granting of a spaceport license to Spaceport Cornwall, the issuance of licenses follows. Obtaining these licenses is only one of several prerequisites for takeoff, which also includes having access to appropriate airspace, having a fully functioning and prepared operating system, and having favorable weather.
Since taking over as regulator in July of 2021, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority has issued more than 150 satellite licenses. At Cornwall Newquay Airport, where Spaceport Cornwall is based, Virgin Orbit will launch its "Start Me Up" mission. A modified Boeing 747 "Jumbo Jet" will be used to transport the rocket across the Atlantic Ocean to a predetermined launch site, where it will be launched into space.
The regulator has been working to advance applications from a variety of additional spaceports and operators and has recently consulted on the environmental consequences of a potential SaxaVord launch in Scotland, all of which highlight the importance of licensing in facilitating expansion in the UK space industry.

Final Words

Virgin Orbit is a division of Branson's Virgin Group, which also includes healthcare providers and airlines, and provides launch services for tiny satellites. Virgin Galactic is a commercial spaceflight firm that is also a member of the corporation.
When Virgin Galactic made its first crewed voyage to the edge of space in July 2021, Branson was one of the passengers. Rocket-powered aircraft VSS Unity took off from Virgin Galactic's launch pad at New Mexico's Spaceport America and soared more than 50 miles into the atmosphere.
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