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Orbital Access Limited to Establish Operations Hub at Cape Canaveral Spaceport

By | February 22, 2017
      Artist's impression of Orbital 500R launch system.

      Artist’s impression of Orbital 500R launch system. Photo: Orbital Access Limited

      Orbital Access Limited and Space Florida have signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the U.K. space services operator establish a principal operating base at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. Orbital Access Limited is leading the development of a small satellite launch system with support from the U.K. Space Agency to complement a portfolio of non-launch related space services to be delivered at horizontal launch spaceports, such as the Cape Canaveral Spaceport.

      “With the commercial market for small payload launch growing rapidly, the new breed of horizontal launch spaceports will become a key component in providing the access to space needed. These spaceports will become a hub for space-related services ranging from simple industrial communications flights, micro gravity parabolic flight services, specialist astronaut conditioning, suborbital flying and, ultimately, small payload launch operations,” said Stuart McIntyre, chief executive officer of Orbital Access.

      Orbital Access Limited intends to base a fleet specialist aircraft at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF), which will provide non-scheduled passenger services, parabolic micro gravity flight services and specialist charters. Specialist providers in the U.S. will offer additional services, such as simulator training and spaceflight participant conditioning. Horizontal takeoff small payload launch services will be added once the development program, currently underway in the United Kingdom, is complete and operational permissions have been obtained. Orbital Access Limited is taking forward the development program, the Future U.K. Small Payload Launcher (FSPLUK) project, with an industrial team of tier 1 U.K. aerospace and academic partners.