How to watch Britain’s first ever space launch in Cornwall from your own home

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<p><figcaption class=The first-ever launch of Spaceport Cornwall is scheduled for Monday evening (Image: Virgin Orbit)

History is set to be written tomorrow when the UK’s first ever horizontal rocket launch is due to take place.

The eyes of the world will be on Cornwall as Spaceport Cornwall marks the beginning of a new era for space exploration in the UK.

A modified Boeing 747 called Cosmic Girl will take off from Newquay, carrying a LauncherOne rocket that will be launched 35,000 feet above the Atlantic and send a satellite into space.

A select number of people will be able to watch live in person at the launch site after booking tickets for this historic event. However, if you are not one of them, you can still watch the event live from the comfort of your own home.

In addition to the live stream of the launch, which will be broadcast throughout the evening at Spaceport Cornwall, it will also be streamed live on Virgin Orbit’s YouTube channel as people in the Principality can join viewers around the world to watch the launch in real time.

Coverage will begin at 9pm UK time on Monday, when the public will be able to join the hosts, Mission Control and the Virgin Orbit team for live coverage of pre-flight operations and launch commentary throughout the day.

Watching start times on Monday are as follows, although they are subject to change:

• 7:00 PM: Audience members who have booked tickets for in-person will start arriving at the venue

• 22:16–23:16: Boeing 747 Cosmic Girl launches horizontally with the rocket

• 22:54 to 23:54: Rocket will be launched

• Tuesday from midnight to 1am: Cosmic Girl will return to base

• 1.15 am to 1.30 pm Tuesday: Confirmation of separation of the satellite from the rocket

Cosmic Girl will fly west from Newquay before launching LauncherOne over the sea.

Falmouth Packet: Flight path of the first horizontal launch of the Spaceport Cornwall rocket

Falmouth Packet: Flight path of the first horizontal launch of the Spaceport Cornwall rocket

The flight path of the first horizontal launch of the Spaceport Cornwall rocket (Image: Cornwall Spaceport)

The Virgin Orbit: Start Me Up mission is its first international launch and only the sixth overall for Virgin Orbit. “Start Me Up” was chosen as a tribute to the Rolling Stones.

Cornwall Airport Newquay was chosen as the base for Spaceport Cornwall due to the existing infrastructure. The airport has one of the longest regional airport runways in the UK due to its RAF base and has direct access to the Atlantic flight route.

There is also a low civilian population in the area compared to many other UK airports.

You can read more about Cornwall Airport Newquay’s development from a commercial airport to a space hub here: The Story of How Cornwall Newquay Airport Became the New Space Industry Hub

The project was led by the UK Space Agency and Virgin Orbit in partnership with Cornwall Council, which provided most of the funding, while the UK Space Agency contributed £11.3 million.

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