UK manufacturers to be able to compete in commercial space race

Posted on 19 Mar 2018 by Jonny Williamson

New laws are set to get Royal Assent which will unlock an exciting era of British space innovation, exploration and investment.

New laws are set to get Royal Assent which will unlock an exciting era of British space innovation,- image courtesy of Depositphotos.

The Space Industry Bill will enable the first commercial space launch from UK soil in history, creating the potential for hundreds of highly-skilled jobs and bringing in billions of pounds for the economy.

The passing of the Bill means British businesses will soon be able to compete in the commercial space race using UK spaceports.

This will not only ensure Britain is capable of launching small satellites and scientific experiments from UK soil, but also able to take advantage of future developments like hypersonic flight and high-speed point to point transport.

Reportedly, the UK is already a global hub for satellite manufacturing, operation and application development. Access to space will allow companies to deploy satellites as well, making the UK a one-stop shop for satellites services and the best place in Europe to start and grow a space business.

UK space sector as part of the Industrial Strategy

Transport Minister Jo Johnson said: “The Space Industry Bill gives companies the ability to launch satellites from UK soil, putting us at the forefront of the new space race, and helping us to compete as the destination of choice for satellite companies worldwide.”

With one in four of all telecoms satellites substantially built in Britain and UK businesses at the forefront of hypersonic flight technology, through its Industrial Strategy, the government is working with the industry to increase its global share of the space sector from 6.5% to 10% by 2030.

And the government said if the UK can build its own spaceports, the UK will also be able to tap into the rapidly expanding launch market – worth an estimated £10bn over the next decade.

Satellite services already reportedly support more than £250bn of GDP in the wider UK economy, as well as products and services we all rely on.

Science Minister Sam Gyimah is also expected to announce eight new projects as part of the UK Space Agency’s Space for Smarter Government Programme, which demonstrates the potential of using satellite technology to solve challenges faced by the public sector.

These projects range from using satellite data and machine learning technology to support the roll out of charging points for electric vehicles, to deploying drones and satellites in the battle against marine waste.

The Space Industry Bill will also create new opportunities for the UK’s business and scientific community to carry out cutting-edge research and inspire the next generation of British scientists and engineers.

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