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UK set to be home to first European spaceport

The UK is getting its first commercial spaceport very soon.

After three months of consultations, the UK government has backed plans (opens in new tab) to build a spaceport for commercial spaceflight.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) made a list of five potential sites where the port could be built, three of which are in Scotland.

Campbeltown, Glasgow Prestwick and Stornoway could see a spaceport built, as well as Newquay in Cornwall, England, and Llanbedr in Wales.

The plan could use an RAF base near Fife as a temporary facility.

The port would be used for commercial flights into space, as well as some extremely fast international travel.

As The Independent reports (opens in new tab), a flight from the UK to Australia could be two hours long, instead of the current 14+ hours.

“Launching satellites and operating commercial space flights from our shores was once only confined to the depths of science fiction,” said Vince Cable, the business secretary. “But with the results of this consultation we are one step closer to making this a very real ability in the near future.“

The spaceport will be Britain's attempt at becoming a world leader in commercial space flight.

“I want Britain to lead the way in commercial spaceflight,” said aviation minister Robert Goodwill. “Establishing a spaceport will ensure we are at the forefront of this exciting new technology.”

This is not the first commercial spaceport ever built, but it is the first ever to be built outside the United States.

The first spaceport was constructed in Mojave, where Virgin Galactic runs most of its unmanned rockets tests.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.