UK Space Industry Boosted: Major New Space Facilities Launched

Hi everyone,
Along with my continuing coverage of the New Horizons spacecraft, I wanted to recognize the UK for their outstanding achievements in the space program. This is an article from nasa.gov about the UK’s new space facilities.

Another boost for the UK’s £11.3 billion space industry as 2 new space facilities are opened at the UK Space Gateway in Oxfordshire.

  • Inauguration of European Space Agency’s ECSAT facility in the UK
  • STFC’s RALSpace opens £27.7 million state of art test facility
  • UK arm of Airbus Defence and Space awarded contract for Quantum satellite with Eutelsat and European Space Agency (ESA)

The inauguration day for the multimillion pound space facilities was also the backdrop for the first contract signed from the new European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) – a €180m contract between ESA and Eutelsat for the first of an innovative class of geostationary communications satellite to be primed and manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space (ADS) in the UK using flexible payload technology and a new platform from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL).

Speaking at the event, Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson said:

Putting cutting-edge knowledge and innovation and world-class space testing facilities right on the doorstep, the opening of the European Space Agency and R100 facilities at Harwell today are a major boost to the UK’s space sector.

Space is a great British success story and the partnership between Airbus Defence & Space, ESA and Eutelsat to build cutting-edge telecommunications satellites here in the UK is testament to that. Our investment in collaborative space science means the UK has the know-how and technical expertise to provide exciting and innovative space solutions that will drive growth and create jobs.

ECSAT – ESA’s home in the UK

ESA’s UK facility, ECSAT, has been developing steadily since 2008, following the UK government’s decision to increase its contribution to ESA.

Named after ESA’s British first Director General, Roy Gibson, ECSAT’s new building will host 120+ jobs including teams in telecommunications and integrated applications. Special emphasis will be put on the development of new markets for satellite-based services and applications. In addition, new satellite, ground infrastructure and product developments are being initiated through original schemes of public–private partnerships with world-class operators. The building will also house the Earth Observation Climate Office, Science and Exploration teams and Technology and Quality Management teams supporting ESA research and development programmes in the UK, focusing on ‘game-changing’ technologies and capabilities.

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I wanted to recognize the UK Space Industry’s outstanding achievements on this blog. I’m sure everyone feels the same way; we owe the UK a great debt for all you have done for humanity.

Thanks for reading. I am J. A. Ireland.

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