UK Unveils “Bold” Strategy to Develop World Class Space Industry

  • National Space Strategy sets out long-term plans to strengthen the UK’s status as a world-class space nation
  • New vision will help grow UK’s multibillion-pound space industry, boost private investment and capitalise on UK strengths such as satellite manufacturing
  • Brings together UK government civil and defence space activities to protect UK interests at home and abroad

LONDON (UK Government PR) — New plans to strengthen the UK as a world class space nation by firing up its multibillion-pound space industry have been set out in a National Space Strategy  launched today.

From connecting people with their friends and family and monitoring climate to helping farmers to manage their crops, space plays a pivotal role in our daily lives, and is a vital part of the UK economy, worth over £16 billion per year.

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UK Companies Join Forces to Build Revolutionary Beam-hopping Satellite

Rendering of the ELSA-M satellite in orbit. (Credit: Astroscale)

LONDON, 24 May 2021 (OneWeb PR) — A group of UK space tech companies are developing a new beam-hopping satellite that will allow satellites to switch which part of the world they cover, managing real-time surges in commercial demand or responding to emergencies such as natural disasters, thanks to Government funding.

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UK Space Agency CEO to Step Down

Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, has announced he will leave his role in 2021

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Following a 4-year term leading the Agency, which delivers the UK’s civil space programme, Graham will step down from his position this year.

Recruitment for his successor will begin soon, and an announcement will be made in due course.

Graham said:

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UKSpace Praises Government’s Plan to Establish Space Command

BORDON, UK (UKspace PR) — Plans to establish the UK’s own Space Command will “further enhance coordination of the UK military and commercial space operations” according to space industry association UKspace.

During an announcement about increased UK defence spending over the next four years, the Prime Minister said that the new Space Command – which will be a joint services command of the Ministry of Defence, to be established at a Royal Air Force (RAF) base – will protect the UK’s interests in space and control the UK’s first satellite launched from a UK rocket by 2022.

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UKspace, RAF to Establish Commercial Integration Cell for Greater Military & Commercial Space Collaboration

BORDON, UK (UKspace PR) — UKspace is working in partnership with the Royal Air Force (RAF) to develop a new Commercial Integration Cell (CIC) at the UK Space Operations Centre (SpOC), which will enable enhanced coordination of military and commercial space operations.

This partnership will establish a CIC in the UK similar to that currently operated by the US Space Force at the Combined Space Operations Centre in Vandenburg, further improving interoperability between the allied nations in support of Operation OLYMPIC DEFENDER and national operations.

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UK Space Sector Working Together on Response to Coronavirus

LONDON (UK Government PR) — The Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency and the President and Chair of the UKspace trade body met virtually last week to discuss the space sector’s response to Covid-19.

The UK space sector employs 42,000 people and generates an income of £14.8 billion each year, while supporting £300 billion of wider economic activity through other industries with satellite services such as navigation, communications and Earth observation. Space is part of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure and has in-built resilience due to the autonomous nature of many orbital operations, the relatively low number of specialist staff required for ongoing operations, and multiple contingencies.

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UKspace Welcomes Government’s Renewed Funding Commitment to ESA

HARWELL, UK, 27 November 2019 (UKspace PR) – UKspace has welcomed today’s announcement by the UK Government that it will increase its funding commitment to the European Space Agency (ESA) by more than 15% from its current contribution to £374 million per year.

The timing of the announcement coincides with the ESA Ministerial Summit which began in Seville today.

“We are extremely encouraged by the UK Government’s renewed investment in ESA and the associated European space programmes,” said UKspace Chair, Graham Peters.

“As we stated in our recently-published UKspace 2020 Manifesto, ESA funding provides the assurance we require to plan and deliver, since space is a long-term business. Previous spending through ESA has always delivered excellent returns for UK business, and this commitment will enable our sector to continue developing and manufacturing the space technologies, capability and supply chains needed to secure the UK’s role in the global space market.”

Graham added: “For the UK space industry to continue its upward curve – which has seen it secure more than 5% of the global space economy in recent years – ongoing Government support is critical. Looking ahead, we hope that this decision will be further backed up by the establishment of a National Space Programme designed to ensure the UK space sector plays an increasingly prominent role in the global space market, building cross-country partnerships and exporting knowledge and equipment.”

UKspace Seeks More Government Support in 2020 Manifesto

UKspace, the trade association that represents the United Kingdom’s space industry, and has issued a manifesto calling for more support for the sector.

It is reproduced below.

UKspace 2020 Manifesto

What the sector needs to compete in the new space race

The 1969 moon landing came after John F. Kennedy boldly set out to overtake the Soviet Union in the space race. In 2019, there is an entirely different contest occurring as rival nations set their sights on the rapidly growing global spacetech market.

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Former Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn Takes Over UKspace

Will Whitehorn gives a pat on the back to Richard Branson as he greets Virgin Galactic ticketholders during the Oshkosh air show in 2009. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

DIDCOT, England (UKspace PR) – Space industry pioneer and entrepreneur, Will Whitehorn, today takes over from Andy Green as President of UKspace, the trade association which represents the UK space industry.

Will, who was formerly President of Virgin Galactic, played a central role in the development and concept of commercial spaceflight, and now holds several non-executive roles at companies including the Royal Air Force, Good Energy PLC, Stagecoach Group PLC, AAC Clyde Space and Scottish Event Campus Ltd. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He was also awarded the 2010 Geoffrey Pardoe RAeS Space Award for services to the space industry.

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