Days after the European Space Agency made history by landing a robot on a comet, its British counterpart has announced a funding boost for space exploration. The UK Space Agency revealed the details at Airbus’ Stevenage research centre – which built systems used on Europe’s Rosetta comet mission, and is now working on a mission to Mars.
What is remarkable about satellite TV and GPS is that they are space technologies — they rely on signals beamed from hundreds of kilometres away from (often British-built) satellites orbiting the Earth …
“Historically the UK government hasn’t put many resources into these big prestige project like launchers or manned missions,” David Parker, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, told wired.co.uk. “The ISS has cost the US more than $100 billion. We have not put money into those kinds of projects. We have taken a very commercial and mean and lean approach, but technologically and scientifically what we are doing is top notch.”
The UK Space Agency is set to further boost the growth of the UK’s space sector with an extra £25 million just announced for its National Space Technology Programme (NSTP). The extra money will be used to drive the development of commercial products using space technology and services utilizing data from space-based systems.
Dr David Parker said: “The last two years have proved what we can accomplish in space through collaboration and targeted investment. Britain is working together for a remarkable future in space, and at the UK Space Agency, we are leading the way.”
Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said:
I’m delighted to welcome David Parker as the next Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency. He has been part of the agency since its creation and most recently played a leading role in securing £1.2 billion of UK investment at the European Space Agency’s Council of Ministers.
His extensive experience of government and industry will be vital in realising our ambition for the continued growth of the UK space sector.