UK rocket launch live stream: Watch as Britain makes history as first European nation to project satellites into space

The launch will put the UK at the forefront of European space exploration

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Britain's first ever rocket launch is taking place tonight.

In a landmark moment a repurposed passenger plane is taking off from Cornwall Airport near Newquay and blasting a Virgin Orbit rocket carrying several small satellites into space.

The launch will be the first to ever take place in Europe, putting the UK at the forefront of space exploration across the continent.

You can follow the live stream above from 9pm to watch as Britain makes history.

Lift-off is set to take place from 10.16pm.

The launch is part of the Start Me Up mission, named in tribute to The Rolling Stones' 1981 hit.

The 747, dubbed Cosmic Girl, takes off horizontally from the new facility while carrying the rocket.

Around an hour into the flight the rocket will be released at 35,000ft over the Atlantic Ocean to the south of Ireland.

Speaking on yesterday Ian Annett, deputy chief executive at the UK Space Agency, described his "immense excitement".

"Who would not be excited by the fact this is the first time that it has been done in Europe? That's because it's hard," he said.

"There is a point where the training takes over and you fall into that rhythm of the teams knowing what they need to do.

Tonight's rocket launch flight plan
Tonight's rocket launch flight plan

"They know when they need to make the decisions they need to make.

"I would say the real achievements here are not the successes that you can necessarily see but all of the challenges that collectively as a team people have overcome.

"The culmination of all of that is putting these exciting missions into space. It's the things at the pointy end of the rocket that really matter."