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Article publication: The Journal Magazine

Laura Edison addresses regulatory landscape changes in the UK space race.

"The Black Arrow programme resulted in the UK’s first homegrown launch vehicle being launched from Australia in the early 70s, placing the (also British) Prospero satellite into orbit. But despite this success, the then UK Government cancelled its space programme and Black Arrow remains but a jewel in the crown of UK rocket enthusiasts.

Fast forward 50 years and the UK Government has announced its National Space Strategy, the Scottish Government has launched the Scotland Space Strategy and, after much consultation, the Space Industry Act 2018 has entered into force through the Space Industry Regulations 2021.

With a shift in the regulatory landscape and renewed interest from both UK and Scottish Governments, the UK is once again nearing the prospect of launch, and this time from UK soil.

Scotland itself is the focus of much of this sector activity, as it is home to five potential spaceports offering vertical or horizontal launch prospects and privately held companies designing, manufacturing and testing launch vehicles at their respective facilities.

Scotland now has regulation and it now has industry making headway in the space race technology battle – so one must pose the question, is the road ahead a smooth one or are there other challenges awaiting?"

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