UK plans to build first spaceport outside the US by 2018

The UK may not have the best history when it comes to space exploration, but that doesn't mean it's not interested in boldly going where only a few people have gone before. According to Sky News, Britain could play host to one of the first spaceports built outside of the US, with a shortlist of eight possible sites expected to be confirmed later this week. As it stands, six of the possible locations are in Scotland, suggesting places like Prestwick, Stornoway and Kinloss, with one in Wales (Llanbedr) and the other in England (Newquay). According to the report, construction could begin as early as 2018, although we're not sure what effect the Scottish Independence referendum would have on the plans. Still, we're loving the fact that any visiting aliens who've hitched a ride on a Virgin Galactic flight will be able to load up on Irn Bru or Teisen radell before heading back to space.

[Image credit: Jeff Foust, Flickr]