Who we are
The UK Space Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.
Space is an essential part of all our everyday lives and one of the key enablers of the global economy.
Space has revolutionised telecommunications services, climate and weather forecasting, commerce, environmental management, security, banking, navigation and TV broadcasting.
The UK space sector is thriving, with a total turnover of £9.1 billion in 2010/2011 (compared to £7.5 billion in 2008/09 as shown in The Size and Health of the UK Space Industry: November 2010). This represents a real growth of 15.6% since 2008/09 and the average annual growth rate over the last two years surveyed has been 7.5%. Reference: The Size and Health of the UK Space Sector 2010/11 preliminary survey results, the full report will be available later this year.
Reporting to the Minister of State for Universities and Science, the UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore space, exploit space-based applications and technology and support our academic and industrial communities.
The UK Space Agency was launched officially on 23 March 2010 and became a full executive agency of BIS on 1 April 2011. On this date the responsibility for all space activities was transferred from a number of bodies, including government departments, Research Councils and non-departmental public bodies. The Agency therefore became responsible for the whole of the UK space activities. Representatives of the above bodies were invited to join the Space Leadership Council, which advises the Minister. A Steering Board was established to advise the Chief Executive, and an Audit Committee to provide guidance and formal oversight. The Chief Executive chairs an Executive Board, which is comprised of UK Space Agency directors.
UK space policy is carried out within the framework of the UK Civil Space Strategy 2012-2016. (PDF, 4.6 Mb) This strategy shapes the direction of UK space policy.
The UK Space Agency also interfaces with other departments on security and military programmes. Although it does not manage these programmes directly, the UK Space Agency is kept informed and involved in decisions relating to the programmes as necessary.
Collaboration lies at the heart of the UK Space Agency ethos and applies across Government as well as to external organisations including European and global partners such as the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Union, national space agencies and the United Nations.