Point-to-point space travel could be transformational but there are challenges on the path ahead, said Paul Cremin, Commercial Spaceflight Regulations and Policy Lead at the Department for Transport.
Speaking on a panel hosted by the Global Spaceport Alliance (GSA) during the Aerospace Global Forum at the Farnborough International Airshow, Cremin said: “As we see global spaceports popping up everywhere in the world, of course that raises the opportunity of point-to-point operations.
“It is obvious to me that there are some very real problems at the moment that have been demonstrated through the recent Covid pandemic, through various other things where freight has been held up in ports and we’ve seen delays on huge amounts of freight, and I think it has highlighted the need for greater cooperation, and also highlighted the need for how reliant we are on each other for global products.
“I am really excited by the opportunity that space flight will give to that problem.”
With the evolution of the commercial space sector, there are likely to be dozens of operational spaceports all over the world within the next few years, serving as hubs for space innovation and access to space.
For example, vehicles that can provide high-speed, long-distance transportation through space are already under development.
But Cremin added: “There will be challenges. As we see this exploitation, it is great that we see the opportunity in both logistics and potentially rapid military support.
“However, space flight, even though it has been around for 70 years, is still the new kid on the block.
“We have to work out how we integrate if we are going to move to point-to-point, how we integrate commercial spaceflight safely into the existing airspace system.”
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