The Malta Independent 23 October 2017, Monday

Aerospace company opening headquarters in Malta, hoping to pioneer ‘NewSpace’ sector

Joanna Demarco Monday, 10 July 2017, 09:00 Last update: about 4 months ago

Orbital Access, a ‘NewSpace’ company, will be opening their headquarters in Malta in a few weeks, launching their services provider and operator, with the hope of pioneering the new aerospace industry and sector in Malta.  ‘NewSpace’ refers to the new space market, a change from the old concept of space which included launched vertical rockets, to a private spaceflight industry.

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Speaking to The Malta Independent, company director Edmund Arcadian explained that the commercially-run company is a launch services provider and operator, which, in layman’s terms “launches satellites in space” with a reusable rocket launcher.The satellites are launched on standard airplanes, which will detach from the plane at a certain height and continue into space.

The company is the operator designated for the UK Space Ports at Prestwick and Newquay, and they will be the first space ports in Europe which are able to launch satellites from such locations.

The industry is a €400 billion industry, to which Malta currently does not have exposure to, he said, continuing that the plan is to also encourage other companies within the sector to settle in Malta and make use of the financial services.

Arcadian explained how Malta is also a prime location from which such satellites could be launched into space.

“You are geographically limited to where you can operate space ports from,” he said. “You can’t turn, for example, Frankfurt airport into a spaceport because there are just too many people around there.”

He went on to say that Malta is a prime location. “When you launch, (which happens at a later stage than take-off), what lies beneath is the sea and the Sahara,” he said.

He explained that the demand for satellite is “growing exponentially”. “Everything your mobile phone does, somehow or other, uses a satellite,” he said, going on to list GPS, mobile data and weather reports, amongst others.

 

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