Ross Hulbert

Oct 4th, 2023 | Blog

We’re celebrating World Space Week!

This is a week where people across the world celebrate achievements beyond the stars. 2023’s theme is entrepreneurship, and there is no better person to speak to about the running of Spaceport Cornwall than our Head of Engagement, Ross Hulbert. Read on as Ross answers some of the most asked questions about what we do, our facilities and more.

What is Spaceport Cornwall?

“Spaceport Cornwall is part of Cornwall Airport Newquay. We conducted the first UK launch back in January and we are the UK’s first licensed Spaceport, and to-date the only operational Spaceport in the whole of Europe.”

Is Spaceport Cornwall still open?

“Spaceport Cornwall is definitely still open for business. We have 12 businesses living here in the operations facility, conducting a range of different activities, all in the space sector. There’s absolutely loads going on here at Spaceport Cornwall.”

What facilities are at Spaceport Cornwall?

“Here at Spaceport Cornwall we have a range of different facilities. We have our launch critical facilities which includes our integration facility; that is where satellites are integrated into the launch vehicle.

On the land-side, we have the operations facility, where businesses can actually collaborate and locate.

Over at our hardened aircraft shelters we have companies doing R&D and testing activity, it is a great place for engineering. Propulsion testing as well as future space technology. It is a really exciting part of the facility.”

How much did Spaceport Cornwall cost and who funded it?

“To upgrade Cornwall Airport Newquay to become Spaceport Cornwall, it cost £20 million. That was funding from a range of different sources. £12.5 million came from Cornwall Council; they voted the funding through the cabinet. We had another £500,000 from the Local Enterprise Partnership in Cornwall. We had £7.5 million from the UK Space Agency as well. That sounds like a lot of money but in order to give the UK access to the launch market for the very first time in history, it really is a very cost-effective investment.”

Who owns Spaceport?

“Spaceport Cornwall is part of Cornwall Airport Newquay which is part of Cornwall Council.”

Can the public visit?

“You can visit Spaceport Cornwall as part of your school or college group. We have a dedicated education outreach programme. They have already engaged with every School, College and University in Cornwall. We would love to create more visitor attractions in the future.”

What is the future of Spaceport Cornwall?

“The future of Spaceport Cornwall is really exciting. We expect the next launch to be in 2027. We also have a range of businesses located on site, all collaborating and doing a range of activities. We will have other businesses in our facilities conducting R&D and testing technology. If you were to arrive any given day of the week, you would see lots of exciting developments happening.”