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Tue, 27 Nov 2007

HRH The Duke of Kent opens SSTL office in Guildford

His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent has opened Tycho House, the new headquarters building of world leading small satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL)

SSTL was successfully spun-out from the University of Surrey 23 years ago. The relationship has generated huge mutual benefits, contributing to the University’s excellent reputation and expertise in engineering, and establishing SSTL as the premier supplier of small satellite missions that is truly ‘changing the economics of space’.

His Royal Highness, Chancellor of the University of Surrey, was joined by SSTL’s founder Professor Sir Martin Sweeting and the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Christopher Snowden, where he commented: “As Chancellor of the University of Surrey, its gives me great pleasure to officially open Tycho House, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd’s prestigious new headquarters. I am confident that Tyco House’s first class facilities will ensure that SSTL soars to even greater heights.”

SSTL is a successful spin-out and has continued to grow rapidly - it is currently a £46M business with 270 staff and prospects of a further 30% growth in revenues next year.

Sir Martin commented: “We are very pleased with the new building. Its scale and quality have made a strong statement, emphasising SSTL’s professional development and enhancing the Company's image as a major player in the international space industry. Most importantly, it provides us with a working environment for our staff that encourages pride in our work.”

SSTL has matured into a professional and profitable business that attracts talent from academia and industry with their culture of innovation and can-do attitude. Recent successes have included the launch of the 5-satellite Disaster Monitoring Constellation, pioneering high resolution Earth imaging microsatellites Beijing-1 and TopSat and CFESat, a technology demonstration mission for the US Government. GIOVE-A, the first satellite for Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system, was designed and built by SSTL. The Company’s largest satellite to date, GIOVE-A reaches a milestone 2-years in orbit next month.

Thirteen new satellites are in various stages of design and construction at Guildford for customers in Russia, Germany, Nigeria, Spain, UK and the European Space Agency. All will be launched over the next three years, making it a busy time at Tycho House.

Other exciting new projects and products in the pipeline include a geostationary communications minisatellite and a potential joint US-UK lunar orbiter mission.

According to Martin Sweeting, continuing to innovate is an essential “life-force” for the Company and, together with the University’s Surrey Space Centre, SSTL is leading a UK proposal for a series of small satellites destined for the Moon. These will provide communications and navigation services from lunar orbit for future international missions, as well as to carry UK science payloads that will land on the lunar surface in 2011-2012.

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (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 27 missions launched.

SSTL employs 270 staff working on LEO, GEO and interplanetary missions, turnkey satellite platforms and space-proven satellite subsystems and optical systems. The Company also provides know-how transfer and training 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 owned by the University of Surrey (85%), SSTL staff (5%), and SpaceX of the USA (10%).

Notes to editor:

High resolution digital photography from the opening is available from Robin Wolstenholme (details below). A Word version of this press release, that can be downloaded from the SSTL online press room :

Photo: (left to right): Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, Professor Christopher Snowden, His Royal Highness and Matt Perkins (CEO, SSTL)

SSTL Contact:

Audrey Nice, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited

Tel: +44 (0)1483 804200 Email:

Press Contact:

Robin Wolstenholme, Ballard Communications Management (BCM)

Tel: +44 (0)1306 882288 Email: