Spaceport Cornwall, the UK’s horizontal satellite launch site, and Canadian based aerospace and space company Space Engine Systems, has signed a MoU to identify opportunities for future collaboration.
Spaceport Cornwall the UK’s first horizontal launch site will offer from 2021 rapid, low cost, resilient and safe access to space and multi-fuel propulsion test facilities for launch vehicle developers, and will be Europe’s Gateway to Space. Spaceport Cornwall will be the only place in the world where, satellite launch and scheduled passenger airline services are fully integrated at one location. As a well-located operational airport (4 flights/day to London Heathrow and daily services to Manchester) it offers a capable spaceflight capability with directly access to a Launch environment, for air launch system operations and rapid global transit R&D.
Space Engine Systems (SES) is a Canadian aerospace company that is pioneering the next generation of propulsion technologies for aerospace and space. Their ultimate goal is the design of a reusable, single-stage-to-orbit cruise vehicle that is capable of flight up to hypersonic speeds for use in aerospace and space applications. To achieve these targets, SES is developing a light, reusable, multi-fuel propulsion system. Space Engine Systems will fully test DASS GNX engine for space, DASS GN1 for aerospace and defence applications at hypersonic speeds. Our focus has always been the lowest cost to space at around $ 2,240 US per kilogram. The lowest cost in the world in the space industry. We think we can even do better. We are striving very hard to have our engines ready for the Lunar Mission by 2023.
Space Engine Systems will also test its engines for launch in existing modified high Mach vehicle bodies available in the UK and USA to expedite the validation process for launch. Keep it Simple and never to Reinvent the wheel has always been our policy.
The collaboration will include sharing resources, operational knowledge, all for mutual commercial benefit and deliver competitive affordable global Spaceport operations. Areas of joint working may include; propulsion testing, educational outreach, funding bids, sector cluster growth, operations, new operational regulation, mission and range management, tourism economy, industrial participation and trade and investment.
Pradeep Dass, President & CTO Space Engine Systems, said “Space Engine Systems is very excited in setting up this R&D partnership potentially opening up major opportunities in the UK and Europe through Spaceport Cornwall. UK’s renowned universities and engineering talent pool will be of great benefit. Space Engine Systems is presently exploring similar opportunities in the USA too.’
Miles Carden, Director of Spaceport Cornwall, said ‘Spaceport Cornwall has a fantastic market advantage as one of the first mover spaceports in Europe, and we are now interested in developing partnership opportunities to deliver repeatable, cost effective, sustainable launch from the UK. This is one of the first signs that the Council’s investment in a Spaceport will be rewarded and be a catalyst for investment and trade. The team at Space Engine Systems are pioneering exciting new technology and we look forward to exploring the opportunity to collaborate more closely.’
This partnership is a first step towards Space Engine Systems potentially establishing a permanent R&D and manufacturing facility in Cornwall, and future launch operations. The facility would be the companies first outside North America.
Spaceport Cornwall was recently awarded £20 million of funding from Cornwall Council and the UK Space Agency with further investment from Virgin Orbit, Goonhilly Earth Station and C&IoS LEP. The Spaceport team in Cornwall Council is now seeking further commercial partnerships to develop the UK launch market.
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