09 Feb 2017

Commercial space flight boost

The UK Government has launched a £10M scheme to incentivise commercial space flight.

Science Minister Jo Johnson announced the grants today, which will enable the UK to establish a commercial spaceflight market. It is anticipated that the global space market will be worth estimated £25Bn over the next 20 years

Companies receiving a share of the funding must use it to develop spaceflight capabilities, such as building spaceport infrastructure or adapting launch vehicle technology for use in the UK. The grants are a call for businesses to develop competitive, commercial and safe spaceflight proposals for UK-based satellite launch services and sub-orbital flights.

The funding comes on the back of new legislation that will facilitate and regulate commercial spaceflight. The draft legislation, which will enable spaceflight from the UK by 2020, is to be published in the coming weeks. It is designed to develop a safe and competitive regulatory environment for spaceflight.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “Spaceflight offers the UK the opportunity to build on our strengths in science, research and innovation. It provides opportunities to expand into new markets, creating highly-skilled jobs and boosting local economies across the country. That is why it is one of the key pillars of our Industrial Strategy.

“We want to see the UK space sector flourish, that is why we are laying the groundwork needed for business to be able to access this lucrative global market worth an estimated £25 billion over the next 20 years. The call for proposals I announced today, together with a new, dedicated Spaceflight Bill, will help make our space ambitions a reality.”

The UK Space Agency will host further discussions with industry on the future of the UK’s commercial spaceflight market at the Royal Aeronautical Society on 21st February.


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