Steps Taken By The UK Space Agency To Minimize The Spread Of COVID-19

16th Apr 2020
UK Space Agency

In light of the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has virtually stopped nations on their tracks, the chief executive of the UK Space Agency, Graham Turnlock, met virtually to discuss the organisation’s response to the spread of the pandemic.

The UK Space Agency directly and indirectly employs the services of more than 40,000 employees who are responsible for generating income of £14.8 billion per year. Additionally, the UK Space Agency also aids in the development of the wider economy activities via its satellite services like Earth observation, communications, navigation, etc.

Since space is part of the country’s Critical National Infrastructure, the UK Space Agency has placed multiple contingencies in place. Additionally, a relatively low number of specialist staff is required for the ongoing activities due to the autonomous nature of most orbital operations.

What Steps Are Taken By The UK Space Agency To Minimize The Spread Of Coronavirus?

Several precautionary steps were taken by the UK Space Agency to minimize the spreading coronavirus like:

  • Maintaining the flow of information from the sector to the government
  • Establishing dedicated teams to point out the direction towards the support that the government has made available
  • Look into any actions that the trade body and the government can identify to help to minimize the spread of the coronavirus
  • Broaden the range of engagement beyond the UK Space Agency members when it comes to these businesses

Apart from the above steps, the government has also made it easy to access guaranteed loans to support businesses; these loans are worth £330 billion, which is almost equal to 15% of the GDP. They are:

  • Cost-effective ways for raising working capital for large firms offered by Bank of England’s COVID Corporation Financing Facility
  • Government-backed loans available up to £5 million for small- and medium-sized corporations and businesses, offered by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Other organizations that have started rescheduling events move some workers to remote set-ups and limit business travel include Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and the National Aeronautics and NASA. All the organizations mentioned above, especially UK Space Agency, are bracing for the impact that will inevitably grind production and put development to a halt.

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