Success for Space at the Farnborough Airshow
16 Jul 2012
A packed programme of space events was held at the Farnborough International Airshow 2012. The space and aerospace community and the public turned out in force to the Space Zone for a programme of conferences, meetings and workshops. This has acted as the backdrop to the UK Space Agency news that the UK space sector contributed £9.1B to the economy for the 2010/2011 period as well as a number of other exciting announcements from the UK Space Agency and partner organisations throughout the week.
In a speech to an audience of over 200 invited industry guests at the Space Conference on Tuesday David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science announced that the UK Space Agency have:
- Found a remarkable average annual growth rate of 7.5% of the space sector over the last two years. This demonstrates the upward trajectory of the industry since the UK Space Agency were established in 2010. The full ‘Size and Health of the UK Space Sector’ report will be published later this year.
- Published the ‘Civil Space Strategy’ (PDF, 4.6 Mb) setting out the Agency’s approach to supporting continued growth, innovation and job creation through its funding activities, science programmes, international partnerships and education activities over the next four years
- Begun evaluating the potential for a specialised spaceport in the UK for commercial use
- Renewed their cooperative relationship with international partners and with industry. David Willetts was joined on stage by the Italian Minister for Education, Universities and Research, Francesco Profumo; the heads of the European, Italian and Russian Space Agencies, Jean-Jacques Dordain, Enrico Saggese and Vladimir Popovkin; and Andy Green Co-Chair of the UK Space Leadership Council.
Read more about the Civil Space Strategy.
The BIS press notice includes further information about the Ministers speech at the Space Conference.
Other announcements from the UK space sector this week so far include:
Reaction Engines announced the successful completion of their latest series of tests of a key component for a new engine, SABRE, that will enable aircraft to fly anywhere on Earth in under 4 hours, or directly into space and back to deliver satellites and other cargo.
- The International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) and the Russian centre for space research and innovation, Skolkovo signed a memorandum of understanding to promote cooperative research and technology development between the two organisations.
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd signed a contract worth €80M with OHB for the construction of a further eight navigation payloads for the European Galileo programme.
- The Satellite Catapult, a centre for technology and innovation for space is to be located at the Harwell Science Park in Oxfordshire, and up to £10million has been allocated by the Technology strategy Board to speed up innovation in space over the coming financial year.
Virgin Galactic and SSTL have signed a collaborative agreement aimed at developing a comprehensive launch package for small satellites weighing up to 225kg. The LauncherOne system if designed to take advantage of the WhiteKnightTwo system to reach high altitudes before separating and delivering its payloads to low earth orbit.
- UK based Avanti communications received an endorsement from NATO for its Hylas satellite broadband system.
- UK based ABSL Space Products signed a contract for over £1M to supply a second round of batteries to the Galileo constellation programme. OHB-System, the builders of the first 14 spacecraft for the European satellite navigation system, is continuing their successful partnership with ABSL following the supply and integration of an initial set of batteries for Galileo.