According to Patrick McCall, a non-executive director of Space Forge, the UK required two or three customers from the public sector to demonstrate that unneeded regulatory challenges wouldn’t delay launches if it wanted to regain investor trust.
He said, “If the UK is to be competitive from a launch standpoint, I believe there needs to be a seismic change in that strategy”. There is no chance Josh Western [CEO of Space Forge] would prevail in the debate to conduct the following launch in the UK. Even if the UK arrived and offered to pay for it, I would advise against doing that.
The CAA representative stated, “I don’t think it’s purposeful; I think people at the CAA want to make it happen, but it’s not working, and either we address that with a seismic shift or we save the money and spend it on other things that are possible.
He also suggested that the UK look into using the funds it was investing in launch capabilities on other things, including hospitals.
The scenario, according to committee chairman Greg Clark, is disastrous for the UK space programme.
it is now poisonous for launches with private funding. To regain the trust of private space investors, we now need to have the government handle it, he argued, and McCall agreed.
Space Forge contrasted the lengthy licensing process they had to go through with how quick and simple it was to get the same approval in EU neighbors like Portugal.
Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart told lawmakers that he had anticipated the CAA to operate more conservatively than the Federal Aviation Administration in the US.
Sir Stephen Hillier, head of the CAA, refuted the notion that a regulatory burden was to blame for the launch’s delay. The safety of space operations in the UK is our top priority, he declared.
From our standpoint, we are certain that we licensed before technological readiness, even if it will always take some time for them to reassemble in a new location and begin new operations in order to complete the job.
The UK has increased its investments in the space industry during the past year. Virgin Orbit became the first business to receive authorization from the Civil Aviation Authority to launch a satellite from British soil in December.
The UK government invested in the failing satellite company OneWeb Satellite in 2020 with the intention of creating a network of more than 650 LEO satellites for internet services.
According to Space Forge, SpaceX will launch its upcoming satellites in the US.