Following the publication of the National Space Strategy last week, photojournalist Jonny Weeks explores how the south-west is primed for Britain’s first sovereign rocket launch
“When we first started, people would laugh at us,” says Melissa Thorpe as she guides a group of visitors around an exhibition in a vast hangar at Newquay airport. “But now look, we’re only a matter of months from launch.”
Sweeping around a tall black curtain, she reveals a 21-metre space rocket glimmering under red spot lights. Children’s eyes widen and the adults in the group are agog.
A model of the 747 aeroplane, nicknamed Cosmic Girl, which will carry the Launcher One rocket beneath one of its wings.