In 2010, business, government and academia came together to create the ‘Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS)’ setting out the opportunity, challenges and actions required to secure the future growth of the UK Space Sector.
As a direct result, the UK Space Agency was created, and a National Space Policy published. A space cluster at Harwell was established with the Satellite Applications Catapult and the European Space Agency’s ECSAT centre at its heart.
In 2017, the Government awarded £99m to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to fund the National Satellite Test Facility (NSTF) at Harwell and in November of that year launched the UK’s Industrial Strategy, announcing £50m to the UK Space Agency for spaceports in the UK.
In March 2018, the new Space Industry Bill passed into law. One month later, Reaction Engines, the Oxfordshire based developers of the SABRE engine a revolutionary ‘air breathing’ rocket offering the potential for ‘one stop to orbit’, secured a further £26.5m from investors including Rolls-Royce, Boeing and BAE Systems.
The SGP recognises that continued co-investment between Government and industry is critical to ensuring the UK Space sector continues to thrive, and our Prosperity from Space strategy outlines the steps we need to take together to capitalise on the opportunities presented by rapidly maturing new technologies.