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Last week's poll: UK Spaceport

Plans are afoot to designate a UK spaceport, both for technical and space tourism launches. Where would be the best place to site it?

Doncaster emerged as the clear winner of last week’s poll, gaining 57 per cent of 930 votes. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given the town’s rich aeronautical history and, as an anonymous commentator pointed out, ‘[Doncaster] is more central and is likely to have the best transport links in the foreseeable future.’

Poll results July 22 2014

The Civil Aviation Authority, in its UK Government Review of commercial spaceplane certification and operations report, identifies Doncaster Sheffield Airport – among many others - as a possible location, subject to runway extensions and the provision of appropriate segregated airspace.

The report concludes: ‘further research required’. 

From the other poll options there was a reasonably narrow split between Llanbedr (14 per cent) and Newquay (10 per cent) whilst options in Scotland attracted seven per cent of the votes cast.

Seven per cent were not enamoured by any of the locations offered in the poll and five per cent of you thought a spaceport entirely unnecessary in Britain.

What do you think? Let us know below.


Readers' comments (36)

  • Wherever the spaceport is, it will need excellent transport links so people can get there. That's why I selected Doncaster as it is more central and is likely to have the best transport links in the foreseeable future.

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  • Doesn't this all depend on if a geo-stationary orbit is required? (sub orbital are really just joy rides). For geostationary isn't as near as possible to the equator the best to take advantage of the Earths spin-velocity - so Jersey or Guernsey?

    Or may be there's now a use for the HMS Queen Elizabeth? - float it off the the mid Atlantic near to the equator - with a rocket on top?

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  • RAF Leuchars would be a great choice.

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  • Ebbw Vale would be good as it's not far from the west Midlands, it's high ground with clear air for viewing launches and land prices are low. A link to the M4 and London to South Wales railway could be put in place.

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  • Spaceport location - Boris island as Hotol will be able to use a normal airport

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  • From what I read about this we need a 3 km runway. Perhaps this isn't completely necessary? If so it rules out a lot of existing runways such as Filton etc. where extension would be difficult to impossible. Doncaster has a good running for this with an extension or a new runway. Norfolk has a good chance of supporting this as well. It would be interesting to see if the location of the space industry may sway the chosen location. As 50% of the space industry is located around London it could pull the spaceport that way.

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  • Doncaster is a good site.

    Flat terrain and not much to the East, close to the coast, central location, excellent rail, road and air links, access to large pools of labour and universities at Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leeds etc.

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  • It would be more cost effective per passenger to carve out a new runway on the equator complete with all the required infrastructure and ferry people to and from the UK than to launch from within the UK. This is a "Pie in the Sky" totally unrealistic dream. If you must have a UK location I believe Wigan is noted for it's pies.

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  • To Wigan and beyond!

  • Equator launch is of very limited benefit for a sub-orbital flight.

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  • And it's not necessary for sub-geostationary orbits.

  • Regarding 'SPACEPORT' for UK, I would suggest 'FALKLAND' since we occupy that islands?
    Far away where nobody would know what we would be doing.

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