Back on the 6th February the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk launched the Falcon Heavy rocket into space.
This was the most powerful rocket ever launched, taking off with over £5 million of thrust – the equivalent of around 17 Boeing 747 aircrafts at full power.
The total cost was an estimated 90 million dollars plus an added $200,000 for the payload it carried – his very own 2008 Tesla Roadster, which is currently flying through space on its way to Mars, with David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ on loop.
This was obviously an incredibly impressive feat and one that was celebrated around the world. However, there are huge expansions to space travel happening right here in Cornwall.
Cornwall’s Goonhilly Earth Station has been granted an 8.4-million-pound investment, which will help it to become the world’s first commercial deep-space communications centre.
This could mean the station might be able to track future missions to mars and the moon and will make it a key player in future space missions.
The investment is being funded through the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, an organisation that funds growth throughout the county.
It has been alleged for a while that Cornwall is set to become the centre for space exploration in the UK, with Newquay Airport a proposed site due to its large runway.
Space Minister Sam Gyimah said: “We’re working hard to ensure the UK thrives in the commercial space age as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, so it’s fantastic to see the world’s first commercial deep space communications network coming to Cornwall.”
The UK seems to be putting space exploration as one of their key expenditures for 2018. The UK Space Agency says the global market for space is expected to increase from £155 billion per year to £400 billion per year by 2030.
The UK Government has also set a target of securing 10% of this global space economy, £40bn per year, by 2030.