The UK Space Sector supports some £250 billion of the UK's GDP by providing space-enabled data and applications that are widely used in other sectors of the economy to improve efficiency, increase the tools available for businesses and consumers in critical activities and, in some cases, to introduce all-new ways of working. This activity is supported by space manufacturing companies that are smaller in scale but crucial in producing the infrastructure we need for these services and applications.
The UK Space Agency published a national survey in December 2017 of the facilities we have in the UK to support the design, development and testing of space hardware, and to identify where we need to invest further to meet the new demands of emerging markets.
The UK Space Agency and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory have now updated and repurposed the material in the report for this Website, to provide a resource for the growing national space community. The initial release contains a representative sub-set of the entire sector, focussing on three areas: system level assembly, integration, verification and test facilities; chemical propulsion test facilities; and electric propulsion test facilities.
Together with RAL, we want to continue to update the site and cover additional areas such as: satellite operations and related ground component; trials ranges; and facilities that can manage and analyse the very large data sets that are very much becoming a feature of the sector. We also want to add facilities such as: airborne platforms; quantum research facilities; and other facilities which are a necessary component of the national space landscape.
The approach we have adopted fits well with the Government's Industrial Strategy and is a good example of our sector coming together to undertake the analysis and subsequent actions to drive forward and invest in our sector.