The UK Government has launched a public consultation on regulations governing the country’s spaceflight programme.

The Space Industry Act 2018 makes provisions regarding space activities and sub-orbital activities, as well as related purposes performed in the UK.

Announced by UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, the consultation will enable the first launch into space from ‘British soil’ to take place in the early 2020s.

Shapps said: “The UK’s space sector can strengthen our national capabilities, create high-skilled jobs and drive future economic growth across the UK.

“Getting the rules in place for space launches from UK territory may seem like one small step. But it paves the way for a giant leap in the development of our space sector.

“This is technology’s high frontier and we will soon be able to reach it with specialist small payload launches from British soil.”

Additionally, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is appointed the role as spaceflight regulator.

The government and industry aim to build the UK’s global space market share to 10% by 2030.

In line with this target, the government has also invested nearly £40m in grants for the development of commercial vertical and horizontal small satellite launches from UK spaceports.

Last month, a new UK space industry consortium formed by Airbus and other aerospace companies launched the ‘Open Innovation – Space’ initiative to increase small and medium enterprises (SMEs) engagement in future SatCom services.