The Space Industry Act 2018 - Rediscovering the UK sovereign launch capability

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October 1971 remains the only time that the United Kingdom has successfully launched a satellite into Earth orbit by means of a launch vehicle developed within the country. In doing so, it became the sixth nation to attain this capability. Unlike others, however, the UK took the decision to abandon this capability, citing cost of development and the existence of alternative, cheaper arrangements with other states. With the granting of royal assent to the Space Industry Act (SIA) 2018, however, the UK is taking legislative steps to regain sovereign launch capacity. Accompanied by a significant amount of publicity from the UK Government, the SIA represents an ambitious attempt to re-establish independent launch capacity and a launch facility within the UK to complement its burgeoning small satellite industry.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRoom, The Space Journal
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2018


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