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The British government says it wants to open up its own spaceport by 2018, and on Tuesday it listed eight coastal airfields that are under consideration for the role. Six of them are in Scotland, which could be an independent state by then. The Scottish sites are Campbeltown Airport, Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Kinloss Barracks, RAF Leuchars, RAF Lossiemouth and Stornoway Airport. Llanbedr Airport in Wales and Newquay Cornwall Airport in England are also on the list.
Several spaceship builders could become customers, including Bristol Spaceplanes and Reaction Engines (which are based in Britain) as well as Virgin Galactic and XCOR Aerospace (which are currently focusing on U.S. operations). "The work published today has got the ball rolling — now we want to work with others to take forward this exciting project and have Britain's first spaceport up and running by 2018," U.K. Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said in a news release timed to coincide with this week's Farnborough International Airshow.