U.S., UK Sign Declaration to Work Together on Space Activities

UK lays the foundation for rockets, high-altitude balloons and spaceplanes to lift off from spaceports across the UK, creating thousands of jobs in the process.

  • lift-off moment for UK-US spaceflight as Transport Secretary makes landmark declaration in Washington
  • partnership to cut red tape, making commercial launches from both countries easier and more streamlined 
  • comes as UK prepares for first satellite launch from home soil this year, creating thousands of high-skilled jobs 

WASHINGTON (UK Government PR) — Future spaceflight will be made easier and cheaper, following a landmark partnership with the United States to help cut red tape and boost opportunities in the UK, signed by the Transport Secretary this week in Washington.

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International Satellite to Track Impacts of Small Ocean Currents

SWOT’s solar panels unfold as part of a test in January at a Thales Alenia Space facility in Cannes, France, where the satellite is being assembled. SWOT will measure elevations of Earth’s ocean and surface water, giving researchers information with an unprecedented level of detail. (Credits: CNES/Thales Alenia Space)

The Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission will explore how the ocean absorbs atmospheric heat and carbon, moderating global temperatures and climate change.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Though climate change is driving sea level rise over time, researchers also believe that differences in surface height from place to place in the ocean can affect Earth’s climate. These highs and lows are associated with currents and eddies, swirling rivers in the ocean, that influence how it absorbs atmospheric heat and carbon.

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UK Company Orbex Reveals Micro-Launcher Rocket

Prime rocket prototype (Credit: Orbex)

KINLOSS, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK Space Agency has welcomed news that the British rocket company Orbex has unveiled the first full-scale prototype of its Prime orbital space rocket.

Orbex’s Prime rocket reaching technical readiness represents a significant achievement that brings together key elements of the ground infrastructure and prototype launch vehicle for the first time and is a major step forward for the company and for the UK launch industry.

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Lord David Willetts appointed as Chair of UK Space Agency Board

  • Lord Willetts previously served as Minister for Universities and Science as well as holding Chair and Board positions across the space and science sector
  • Lord Willetts will work with the recently appointed CEO of the UK Space Agency, Dr Paul Bate, to deliver on the government’s vision for space

LONDON (UK Space Agency PR) — Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has appointed Lord David Willetts as the Chair of the UK Space Agency’s Board, the government announced today.

The appointment comes at an exciting time for the agency, looking ahead to the UK’s first domestic launch this year, and following the recent publication of the National Space Strategy, which sets out the government’s long term commitment to building on the UK’s existing strengths in order to develop the UK as a world class space economy.

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UK Space Sector Created 3,000 Jobs in 1 Year

Credit: UK Space Agency

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The number of UK space jobs continued to grow into 2020, despite the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new figures released today.

Employment in the UK space sector hit 46,995 in 2020, up from 44,040 in 2019: an increase of 2,955 (6.7%).

Sector income increased in nominal terms from £16.4 billion to £16.5 billion, with exports counting for around a third (32%) of this total. Space manufacturing, including satellites, spacecraft, launch vehicles and scientific instruments, grew the most in real terms; up by £23 million to £2.27 billion.

In line with the UK Government’s commitment to increasing public and private R&D spending, investment in research and development saw a 19% boost to £836 million.

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The Satellite Applications Catapult, Horizon Technologies, and Virgin Orbit Accelerate the UK Small Satellite Market with a New Launch Agreement for Cornwall 2022

LauncherOne ignites after being dropped from Cosmic Girl. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

DIDCOT, UK (Satellite Applications Catapult PR) The Satellite Applications Catapult (“the Catapult”) and Virgin Orbit (“Virgin Orbit”, Nasdaq: VORB), a leading launch provider, have announced an agreement to launch the latest satellite in the Catapult’s In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) programme into space from the United Kingdom later this year.

The satellite, called Amber-1, is a partnership between the Catapult and Horizon Technologies. Built by AAC Clyde Space in Scotland, it will be launched by Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne on its historic flight from Spaceport Cornwall this year – a mission that is expected to mark the first ever orbital launch from a United Kingdom spaceport.

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New UK Space Funds to Pioneer New Approaches to Energy, Communication and Resources

British space technology will help pioneer new approaches to energy, communications and resources, thanks to new projects from the UK Space Agency

LONDON (UK Space Agency PR) — Science and Innovation Minister George Freeman announced the £2 million boost for 13 new projects during British Science Week (11-20 March), which aims to inspire interest in and celebrate science, engineering, technology and maths for people of all ages.

The projects include Rolls-Royce developing a power station for space that could power the generation of water, breathable oxygen and fuels for solar exploration.

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Virgin Orbit to Launch First Welsh Satellite From UK Spaceport Summer 2022

LauncherOne ignites on its way to space. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

LONG BEACH, Calif. & CARDIFF, Wales (Virgin Orbit PR) — Leading launch company Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) and European in-space manufacturing tech start-up Space Forge announce today an agreement to launch the first satellite developed in Wales in summer 2022.

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SaxaVord UK Spaceport and Met Office Reach Forecasting Agreement

Future launch site (Credit: SaxaVord UK Spaceport)

GRANTOWN ON SPREY, Scotland (SaxaVord UK Spaceport PR) — SaxaVord UK Spaceport is to install a weather station with the support of the Met Office, to help with forecasting for rocket launches.

The Met Office will advise on the most appropriate equipment and best location on the Lamba Ness peninsula where launches are to take place.

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UK Satellite Firm Signs Launch Deal with SpaceX

Satellite Vu will share a ride into space on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 to green the planet.

LONDON, 21 February (Satellite Vu PR) – UK space firm, Satellite Vu, have signed a launch deal with Elon Musk’s renowned aerospace company, SpaceX, to launch the world’s highest resolution thermal imaging satellite in early 2023. 

Satellite Vu will be part of a rideshare launch on one of SpaceX’s Transporter missions aboard Falcon 9, which have proven to be the most reliable rockets to launch satellites into orbit in recent years. 

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AAC Clyde Space Quarterly and Full Year Results

2022-02-17 AAC Clyde Space AB (publ)

Fourth quarter, October-December 2021 (compared with October-December 2020)

  • Net sales increased 116% to SEK 62.1 M (28.7)
  • · Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to SEK -1.0 M (-10.9) and to 0.0 M (-1.6) excluding non-recurring personnel costs of -1.0 M (-1.7) and acquisition costs of 0 M (-7.6)
  • Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) amounted to SEK -8.0 M (-13.2)
  • The loss after tax was SEK -8.3 M (-13.4)
  • Basic and diluted earnings per share amounted to SEK -0.04 (-0.14)
  • Cash flow from operating activities totalled SEK -1.7 (-11.7)
  • The order backlog increased 161% to SEK 407.2 M (156.3)
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Search is on for Young Space Entrepreneurs Ahead of First UK Rocket Launches

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Young people have the chance to a share of £50,000 and expert advice for their ideas on how satellites could improve life on Earth, in a competition run by the UK Space Agency.

With Britain’s first satellite launches set to take place this year, the SatelLife Competition is looking for the best new ideas for how to use data collected from space to benefit daily life, from supporting local communities and the NHS, to monitoring the environment and tackling climate change.

The competition is now in its fifth year, with previous winning ideas including drones carrying medical supplies, a pin badge to monitor air pollution and an app to track abandoned shopping trolleys.

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UK Space Agency Gives Financial Boost to Space Clusters

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Ten space clusters across the UK have been given a boost, thanks to new UK Space Agency funding.

These regional hubs, known as space clusters, will support new and growing companies, building on local expertise and catalysing investment into the space sector.

Over £600,000 [US $812,267] will go towards supporting activities that create jobs and growth, including recruiting space cluster managers, to strengthen local space sector leadership groups and developing new business opportunities.

The funding comes as the Government is set to unveil its flagship Levelling Up White Paper later today (2 February 2022), setting out a plan to transform the UK by spreading opportunity and prosperity to all parts of it.

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UK Space Agency Provides New Funding to Support Sustainable Future of Space

Distribution of space debris. (Credit: ESA)
  • Space debris is a major threat to the satellite services we rely on
  • 13 projects involve industry and academia across the UK

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK Space Agency is providing £1.7 million [US $2.3 million] for new projects to support sustainable space operations, Science Minister George Freeman announced today.

The 13 new projects will help track and remove dangerous debris in space. They include an AI-based tool which can take autonomous action to avoid a collision and another which will see multiple small spacecraft fired at debris before taking it into the atmosphere to dispose of it.

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