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Spaceport Cornwall signs agreement with US company

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Dream Chaser in flight

image copyrightSierra Nevada Corporation

Spaceport Cornwall has signed a memorandum of understanding with a US company to explore future opportunities.

The Sierra Nevada Corporation wants to make spaceflight “globally accessible”.

Its spaceplane Dream Chaser, run by subsidiary Sierra Space, is designed to launch vertically to low-Earth obit and land on a spaceport or runway.

Melissa Thorpe, head of Spaceport near Newquay, said she was “delighted” to welcome Sierra Space ahead of the G7.

Spaceport Cornwall is working towards launching the first satellites into space in spring 2022.

Dream Chaser in flight

image copyrightSierra Nevada Corporation

The Dream Chaser is also designed for multiple reuse, making it a more sustainable system.

Sierra Space has been operating for more than 30 years and supported over 500 space missions

‘Combating environmental challenges’

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s owner Fatih Ozmen said: “Sierra Space envisions launching and landing a fleet of Dream Chasers around the world.

“Spaceport Cornwall is an excellent partnership to assist in our endeavour to make space travel globally accessible.”

The deputy chief executive of UK Space Agency, Ian Annett, said: “This exciting collaboration, enabled by funding provided by the UK Space Agency, will help Spaceport Cornwall realise their ambitions and support the growth of the UK spaceflight industry.”

Mr Arnett said the sector would help the UK “predict, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change” through satellite technology.

“Dream Chaser is a sustainable concept that will bring economic benefits to the UK, create skilled jobs in the sector and ensure the UK thrives in the commercial space age,” he added.

Ms Thorpe added: “Satellite technology offers so much hope in combating many of the environmental challenges being discussed here this week, and we’re proud to be able to showcase the part Cornwall, and the UK is playing.”

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