Spaceport Cornwall has announced the departure of its head, Melissa Quinn.

Ms Quinn, who has been part of the Spaceport team since its inception in 2014, said that she would be stepping down at the end of this month. She has not only been involved in the early stages of the enterprise, providing support for the UK Space Agency bid, she oversaw the first ever space launch from UK soil in January, which ended in failure when the Virgin Orbit rocket suffered an "anomaly".

Ms Quinn, who became head in 2021, said: "This has been one of the hardest decisions of my life, and absolutely no reflection on Spaceport Cornwall, but a personal decision believing it is the right time to move on. It has been a huge challenge, professionally, and personally, to deliver this project, and I am incredibly proud of what my small dedicated team, and I have achieved.

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"Mostly I am proud of our work with local young people, especially girls, inspiring them to get into STEAM careers, as well as challenge the status quo. With the Cabinet approval last week, I am leaving Spaceport Cornwall at the start of an exciting new chapter, and I will be cheering it on from the side lines."

Prior to her role as head of Spaceport Cornwall, Ms Quinn played a key role in the success of Cornwall Council’s Aerohub project, securing Enterprise Zone status and providing support to multiple aerospace businesses across Cornwall.

Ms Quinn will remain "committed" to the space industry and a statement from Spaceport Cornwall said she will be announcing a new position in the coming weeks.

She added: "I want to say thank you to my team, my family, our partners and to the county of Cornwall for helping to deliver our purpose of Space for Good, and putting Cornwall on the world’s stage. Ad Astra."

As Spaceport Cornwall looks to the future, plans are underway to fill the vacant Head of Spaceport role over the summer.

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