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Space Blog

Minister discusses Moon at SSTL

Minister for Science and Innovation, Ian Pearson today visited SSTL’s headquarters in Guildford to discuss the company’s important contribution to the UK space industry. His visit follows the release of the UK Civil Space Strategy on February 14th, which outlines the Government's future direction for the sector for 2008-2012.
Ian Pearson talks to Sir Martin Sweeting
Mr Pearson visited SSTL operations critical to supporting the Government’s space objectives. This included an introduction to SSTL’s DMCii Ltd subsidiary, where he met the team that are currently leading the International Charter: Space and major disasters on behalf of the BNSC. He also met project managers from the European Space Agency (ESA) missions such as the highly successful Galileo satellite, GIOVE-A, and discussed the role of small satellites in providing security and military capabilities. Speaking at SSTL, Minister for Science and Innovation, Ian Pearson, said:
"The UK Civil Space Strategy outlined the Government's commitment to the UK space industry and measures to ensure UK businesses increase their share of the growing international sector. As I've seen today some of the most innovative work in this area is being carried out right here in Surrey."
The highlight of Mr Pearson’s visit was the presentation of plans that will secure the UK’s closer involvement in international initiatives on the future shape of space exploration to the Moon, Mars and beyond. SSTL will take the lead on landmark missions to prove new technologies that will provide low cost infrastructure for future lunar missions. These could include the provision of communications from the Moon back to Earth. This British-supplied infrastructure could also be used to relay communications back from interplanetary missions, for example Mars to Earth. Sir Martin Sweeting, SSTL Group Executive Chairman, commented,
"SSTL is pioneering innovative low cost technologies that maintain and develop the UK’s market share in the global space sector. In particular, SSTL’s MoonLite and MoonRaker missions with NASA are of great importance to the British government’s space strategy going forward."
In time, a constellation of satellites could also be built up to provide valuable services such as GPS in the same way as the Earth. This satellite infrastructure will provide essential services to the international missions on the Moon’s surface such as Rovers, Landers and smaller space experiments that are planned by nations such as Russia, China, India and the US over the coming years.





28 February 20080 Comments1 Comment

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