We have established the framework to enable the first launch to space from the UK, and we remain on track for it to happen later this year.
We have heard a lot about railways around the country this morning, but Cornwall is leading from the front when it comes to rockets and satellites. This year, we expect to see the first launch from UK soil, when lift-off takes place at Spaceport Cornwall in Newquay. One hundred and fifty-seven businesses across Cornwall are now linked with the space industry. I ask the Minister to ensure that the Civil Aviation Authority makes progress as soon as possible with issuing the necessary licences to ensure that the launch can take place this summer.
I have seen for myself the beauty of Cornwall and the ingenuity at Spaceport Cornwall’s integration facility. It is thanks to the championing of my hon. Friend, and that of my hon. Friend the Member for St Austell and Newquay (Steve Double), that in partnership with Virgin Orbit, and with the CAA and the UK Space Agency firmly on board, we will see the first ever space launch from UK soil later this year.