A satellite launch operator is to begin an engine testing programme at Cornwall Airport in Newquay.
Skyora will begin testing its liquid engine at the site, which is aiming to be an operational spaceport in 2021, by the end of the year.
The announcement was made at the Farnborough International Airshow.
Skyrora will carry out a series of test firings at Newquay for their LEO engine, which will eventually be used to propel their satellite launch vehicle’s upper stage.
The company will use a hardened aircraft shelter which was previously used by the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car project for rocket tests in preparation for a world land speed record attempt next year.
Skyrora’s deployment at Cornwall Airport Newquay is being supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), through its Enterprise Zone Infrastructure Fund.
Daniel Smith, director of business development at Skyrora, said: “Newquay is a great fit for us because of the enthusiasm and support from the team, combined with the immediate availability of the facility, providing us with a perfect short-term solution while we work towards establishing our own strategic capability north of the border for our larger engines.”
Mark Duddridge, chairman of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP, said: “Our recently published Space Action Plan outlines how we intend to build a £1bn space economy by 2030, so we are delighted to welcome Skyrora to Cornwall where we are laying the foundations for tomorrow’s global space industry.”
Spaceport Cornwall director Miles Carden said: “This partnership demonstrates the collaborative culture throughout the UK space sector to offer a world class satellite launch environment from research to design, test, launch and tracking.”