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Fri, 28 Nov 2008

SSTL welcomes UK outcome of ESA Ministerial

Guildford-based Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) clearly sees benefit to the UK space industry following this week’s ESA Ministerial. The UK’s decision to support both the programme for Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and the technology development programme ARTES, will ensure a much stronger position for UK industry within the global market.

Previous investment in space by the UK government resulted in a ten fold return on investment and helped place SSTL as the world’s premier supplier of small satellites. SSTL employs 300 staff across three sites in south-east England, and is currently building the Company’s 41st spacecraft.

Sir Martin Sweeting, Chairman of SSTL, noted: “We greatly appreciate the vision shown by the UK, under the leadership of Lord Drayson and the British National Space Centre, in taking such a strong position in these difficult financial times. The GMES programme is critical in helping the world combat the threat of climate change and the UK is in the best position to provide the rapid, affordable solutions required.”

With the environment and climate control at the top of worldwide government agendas, Europe’s flagship Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme provides the UK with an opportunity to take a major scientific and industrial role in monitoring the planet to support the Government’s stand on taking a lead in responding to climate change.

SSTL are also developing a more affordable communications satellite with the help of the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and ESA through the ARTES programme. Paul Brooks, Director of Business Development at SSTL, highlighted the importance of this support, “The company is only too aware of growing competition from overseas which is weighing against the UK in lost business opportunities. Exports account for more than 90% of SSTL’s business, which turned over more than £30 million for the UK last year, and the ARTES support will enable the UK to provide a competitive product in a communications satellite market worth around $5billion.”

About SSTL

SSTL develops innovative technologies to change the economics of space, delivering cost effective satellite missions within rapid timescales. The Company is a world leader in the design, manufacture and operation of high performance small satellites with experience gained over more than 25 years and 32 satellites launched.

SSTL employs 300 staff working on LEO, MEO, GEO and interplanetary missions, turnkey satellite platforms and space-proven satellite subsystems and optical systems. The Company also provides training and development programmes and consultancy services, and performs studies for ESA, NASA and commercial customers related to platform design, mission analysis and planning.

Based in Guildford, UK, SSTL is currently owned by the University of Surrey (85%), SSTL staff (5%), and SpaceX of the USA (10%). www.sstl.co.uk

Notes to editor:

Supporting graphics for this press release can be downloaded from the online press room. These can be previewed in the printable pdf version of this press release, that can be downloaded from the SSTL online press room :

http://www.ballard.co.uk/sstl

SSTL Contact:

Audrey Nice, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited

Tel: +44 (0)1483 804200 Email: a.nice(AT)sstl.co.uk

Press Contact:

Robin Wolstenholme, Ballard Communications Management (BCM)

Tel: +44 (0)1306 882288 Email: r.wolstenholme(AT)ballard.co.uk