9 Jan. () –
The United Kingdom expects to launch its first space rocket on Monday, which would mark a historic day for Europe as well, as it became one of the few countries capable of launching rockets into orbit.
The Virgin Orbit company’s Launcher One rocket expects to make its first flight from British soil before 10:00 p.m. local time (11:00 p.m. Spanish peninsular time).
This launch has created excitement in the country, with thousands of people expected to flock to Cornwall, in the southwest of England, to witness the moment.
Currently, only a dozen countries have the capacity to launch into orbit from their own territory: the United States, Russia, India, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, China, Iran and French Guiana for the European Space Agency.
The deputy director of the British Space Agency, Ian Annet, who has been “immensely excited”, has considered that, if this flight is successful, it would be “a new era for space”.
“This will lead to new careers, improve productivity and inspire the next generation of space professionals, and this is just the beginning,” he explained in statements collected by the newspaper ‘The Telegraph’.
For his part, the executive director of Virgin Orbit, Dan Hart, has added that the launch will only take place if conditions are perfect.
“If there are winds, precipitation or lightning in the area, we will look very closely. We will proceed with great caution,” he said.