News reports on the BBC somewhat precede April 1st. Apparently the Scottish National Party want an airbase in Scotland to be used as a Scottish spaceport.
The party’s Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, wants Virgin Galactic to use RAF Lossiemouth in his constituency as a base for space tourism.
This story follows the unveiling of Richard Branson’s latest weird venture, a twin fuselage aircraft to be used to lift spacecraft filled with space tourists to 50,000 ft. Apparently this bizarre aircraft has now been flown over California.
This graphic from the BBC page explains how the system works.
The somewhat grandiosely named Virgin Galactic suggest the system could be used as a means of getting satellites into orbit, and believe it would be cheaper than current launches.
In the meantime, enthusiastic punters are supposedly queuing up to couch up $200,000 for brief hop into the inner reaches of space. One wonders how glamorous they’d find RAF Lossiemouth. I suspect they might find the accomodation a bit spartan.
Judging from Google Maps, it looks as though they have a golf course at least.
Finally, Mr Robertson says:
“Virgin Galactic proposals are an iconic and inspirational opportunity, which would bring technology investment, jobs and tourism, as well as science and educational opportunities,” he said.
“I am keen to meet with the science and innovation minister, Lord Drayson, and discuss in detail how this cutting-edge project can be taken forward.
“It would be a mistake to underestimate the tremendous potential of these flights which will probably also launch satellites into orbit, as well as offering tourist flights into near Earth orbit.”
Sadly, while Virgin Galactic spokesman Will Whitehorn seems keen, he also suggests two other UK sites are equally suitable.