UK Space Strategy Highlights Plans for First European Satellite Launch4th Aug 2022
The Deputy Director of the UK Space Strategy shared an important strategic update on 29 July 2022. Kathy Bass took the stage at the Westcott Space Cluster Expo 2022 to share the government’s intentions in space. Specifically, she covered funding and the UK’s plans to be the first in Europe to launch a satellite into orbit.
It was hoped that the Prometheus-2 CubeSat would already be set for launch from Spaceport Cornwall this summer. However, a firm date is still yet to be fixed. Bass looked to clear up any doubts during her speech. She said, “This year, we are planning to be the first in Europe to launch a satellite into orbit, which is a clear signal of the UK’s ambition and is a flagship for the government to show internationally what we are aiming for as a country”.
Major Funding Boost Announced
On top of these encouraging reassurances, Bass gave further news surrounding funding in the industry. Funding is giving strength to the UK’s drive to lead in the budding new era of space exploration. £1.7bn is being released over three years to help the UK Space Agency build out a national space ecosystem. The benefits of the move will be wide-reaching. The continued emphasis on the space industry firms up more jobs and improves space sustainability. Moreover, it will help the industry play an important role in the UK’s defences.
The MOD will also receive £1.4bn during the next 10 years as the Defence Space Strategy looks to improve the nation’s understanding of potential threats. This is in addition to the £5bn already being invested in Skynet satellite communications. The goal is to gather detailed intelligence that can be passed on to the military in real-time. Part of this will be achieved by delivering a series of constellations of novel sensors that allow the MOD to track targets on earth to exact coordinates.