Sending Wales’ Economy Into Orbit

19th Jul 2022
Sending Wales’ Economy Into Orbit

The Economy Minister of Wales, Vaughan Gething, toured Welsh satellite manufacturers on 15th July. Gething shared his hopes that the country’s space sector can send the economy into orbit. 

Gething visited a number of the top space businesses in Wales. This tour came as companies prepare the first made-in-Wales satellite for launch later during the summer.

The Welsh Government launched a new Space Strategy earlier this year. The strategy is part of Wales’ efforts to make sure it operates at the forefront of the global space sector.

Speaking about this effort, Vaughan Gething said that the effort is important to the future of Wales.

“The Welsh Government is determined to help foster the industries of the future, which will help create the new high-quality jobs our young people need to make their futures here in Wales.

“The space sector provides exciting opportunities for the next generation of engineers, scientists, technologists, and mathematicians. These are the jobs that will help transform our economy, helping to deliver the long-term economic prosperity our country needs to have a successful future.”

Visiting Wales’ leading space companies

The Economy Minister started his tour at B2Space, which is located in Newport. The company is currently developing an innovative ‘Rockoon’ launcher for satellites on the smaller side. 

The company utilises a novel launch system based on balloons rising to the stratosphere. This system should considerably lower the impact that launches have on the environment from propellants such as rocket fuel. If successful, the effort helps Wales to become the first sustainable space nation in the world by 2040.

The Minister also paid a visit to Cardiff’s Space Forge. The company focuses on building the world’s first reusable and returnable satellite manufacturing platform. Virgin Orbit intends to launch Space Forge’s first test satellite from the UK later in 2022. Space Forge sees the first production ForgeStar launching in 2023.

The satellite will make materials in space that simply cannot be made on Earth. At the same time, CO2 emissions in high-value manufacturing should drop by as much as 75 percent. The satellite platform would return to Earth in 2025.

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