The UK’s new national space strategy was launched today.
It sets out long-term plans to strengthen the UK’s status as a world-class space nation and aims to help grow the country’s multibillion-pound space industry, boost private investment and capitalise on existing domestic strengths such as satellite manufacturing.
The plans will bring together UK government civil and defence space activities with the intention of protecting British interests at home and abroad
The UK already boasts a thriving space sector employing over 45,000 people in highly skilled jobs.
The new strategy will aim to “support British companies to seize future opportunities”, with the global space economy projected to grow from an estimated £270 billion in 2019 to £490 billion by 2030.
The strategy also commits to the delivery of the UK’s first ‘Defence Space Portfolio’ which will see the government investing an additional £1.4 billion in developing new capabilities over and above the £5 billion already committed to enhancing the military’s satellite communications.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The ability to operate in space is fundamental to the success of our Armed Forces but also in maintaining civilian, commercial and economic activity. We launched UK Space Command this year for this very purpose.
He went on: “Collaboration with academic and industry partners ensures we progress research and development needed to stay at the forefront of pioneering technology and ahead of our adversaries.
The UK is scheduled to become the first country to launch a rocket into orbit from Europe in 2022.