The U.K.'s space sector is about to get a big boost as Virgin Orbit prepares to launch from Britain and Europe.

The launch from a location other than the company's home base in California's Mojave Desert will be the first of its kind. It will be the first-ever orbital launch from the U.K., although the country previously launched a satellite onto a rocket from Australia. Cosmic Girl will take off from an airport in Newquay, a popular tourist town in southwest England, after a song by the Rolling Stones.

If all goes to plan, Cosmic Girl, with Virgin Orbit's two-stage Launcher One rocket tucked beneath its wing, will take off from the the Newquay Airport, now known as Spaceport Cornwall, between 4:30 and 6 pm. Tonight's est is 2140 and 2300GMT. The rocket will be released about an hour into the flight after it reaches an altitude of 35,000 feet above the ocean. The cargo of nine small satellites will be released after a single burn with each stage. The launch can be watched in the window above. You can get it courtesy of Virgin Orbit or directly at the company's website.

The UK would like to have commercial spaceports.

"We'll do a three minute burn on the first stage, followed by about six minutes of second stage burn," Dan Hart said during a pre-launch news conference. We're going to come up near Australia. The final burn and the deployment will be watched.

Hart said that the night-time launch slot was chosen because of the clients' requirements.

The wet dress rehearsal of the rocket was completed last week. Hart said that the team was ready to go later on Sunday.

The Start Me Up mission is what the region hopes will be the beginning of a long and fruitful cooperation after Spaceport Cornwall received its license from the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority.

Ian Annett, deputy CEO of the U.K. Space Agency, said during the news conference that the space industry is worth over seven billion dollars a year.

He said that the US builds more satellites than any other country outside of the U.S. We need an end-to-end capability so that we can do everything.

Virgin Orbit's modified Boeing 747, Cosmic Girl, seen in Cornwall in November 2022.

Virgin Orbit's modified Boeing 747, Cosmic Girl, seen in Cornwall in November 2022. (Image credit: Hugh Hastings/Getty Images)

Spaceport Cornwall is one of seven locations across the U.K. In the north of Scotland, and on the Shetland Islands off the Scottish coast, there are other launch facilities under construction.

The CEO of Spaceport Cornwall said it cost less than twenty million dollars to convert the tiny Newquay airport into a space ready site.

The foundations were here. One of the longest runways in the U.K., access over the sea, and a team that had the will to turn that into a spaceport are some of the things we have.

She said that strengthening taxiways and reinforcing turning pads has been done. There is a new Space Systems Integration Facility built at the airport.

A set of cubesats from the U.K. Defence Science and Technology Laboratory will be used to study the ionosphere.

According to the U.K. Met Office, there is only a 10% chance of rain in Newquay on Monday. If there is a last-minute cancellation, the next attempt will be on Friday.

There are no plans to bring space tourism to Cornwall at the moment, despite the fact that both companies are owned by Sir Richard Branson.

You can follow Tereza Pultarova on social networking sites. We encourage you to follow us on social networking sites.