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Fri, 11 Dec 2009

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd backs formation of a UK Space Agency

SSTL applauds Lord Drayson’s announcement of a UK executive Space Agency and believes that in the current climate it is enormously encouraging that the Science Minister has the vision to propose this initiative and the commitment to bring it to fruition.

Space is a rapidly growing industry, even in this period of economic difficulty, with great potential to contribute positively to the future UK economy especially in the area of small satellites, as the Minister noted during his announcement yesterday. SSTL hopes the new agency will be the conduit for further government initiatives such as MOSAIC, the seed-corn technology funding which has underpinned many of SSTL’s recent missions, and which has shown a 12:1 return on initial investment.

Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, SSTL’s founder and Executive Chairman, commented “The UK has a thriving but little-known space industry and, over the last decade, space has been an increasingly critical component of our everyday lives. To raise the profile of space in the UK, the new agency will need to be the focus for programmes that will play to UK strengths, bring benefit to the tax-payer and fire the imagination of young people. The current government Innovation and Growth Team activity with UK industry has identified several new ideas with business potential, such as satellite broadband internet provision, constellations of small remote sensing satellites and inspirational concepts such as Virgin Galactic’s manned Spaceship Two, and the UK MoonLITE lunar mission. These all point to a vibrant future for UK Space.”

About SSTL

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world's leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The Company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, with 300 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.

Since 1981 SSTL has launched 34 satellites as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA and commercial customers, with its innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.

Based in Guildford, UK, SSTL is owned by EADS Astrium NV.

Notes to editor:

This press release can be downloaded as a Word or Pdf document at the following url:

SSTL Contact:

Joelle Sykes, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited

Tel: +44 (0)1483 804243


Press Contact:

Robin Wolstenholme, Ballard Communications Management (BCM)

Tel: +44 (0)1306 882288