British scientists could soon fly into space to conduct cutting edge medical experiments in zero gravity, thanks to new laws, which are slated to make way for a new era of scientific research. According to the UK Space Agency, the new regulations as well as funding will potentially see Britain constructing its very first spaceport by 2020.
"Laws paving the way for spaceports in the UK will allow experiments to be conducted in zero gravity which could help develop medicines," the space agency said in a statement. The construction of a spaceport would enable the UK to launch its own satellites and conduct "horizontal flights to the edge of space for scientific experiments".
Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad said: "We have never launched a spaceflight before from this country. Our ambition is to allow for safe and competitive access to space from the UK, so we remain at the forefront of a new commercial space age, for the next 40 years."
The UK government is seeking funding and specific proposals for space launches from commercial space businesses, in efforts to boost the nation's space industry. The laws aim at boosting scientific and medical research; scientists will be enabled to analyse the behaviour and development of vaccines and antibiotics in space, which grow differently in zero gravity. The spaceflights could also potentially enable numerous vital scientific researches into a wide range of medical issues including ageing in microgravity.
The proposed bill, which was announced earlier in the month by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, will provide the UK's commercial spacecraft industry with £10m for medical research in space. The funding is also expected to create numerous jobs in varied fields such as engineering, construction as well as hospitality and tourism.
Science Minister Jo Johnson said: "With this week's Spaceflight Bill launch, we will cement the UK's position as a world leader in this emerging market, giving us an opportunity to build on existing strengths in research and innovation. Through our 'industrial strategy' we will harness this potential, creating an environment where companies across this sector will thrive."