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UK space industry set to rocket

Staff writer |
The UK Space Agency is making an extra investment of over 200 million pounds in Europe's space programme: 47.7 million pounds to play a leading role in Europe's Mars mission and retain leadership of Mars rover development, 49.2 million pounds to give UK researchers access to the $100 billion ISS programme.

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There will be increased investment in telecommunications, including 56.9 million pounds for the development of a low-cost, flexible satellite worth over 1 billion to UK industry.

This will provide the UK with increased leadership in a rapidly growing global sector and building on the UK space industry's 11.3 billion contribution to the UK economy.

From Mars rovers to the development of the next generation telecoms satellites, the direction of Britain's investment in European space projects was decided earlier this month (02 December 2014) as the Minister for Universities, Science and Cities Greg Clark finalised negotiations for the UK at the European Space Agency's (ESA) Ministerial Council in Luxembourg.

The outcome of the Ministerial negotiations will strengthen the UK role in a number of areas, including telecommunications and microgravity research. The UK space industry forecasts that the new package of investment will enable it to pursue new markets worth over 1.5 billion. This will support the UK's ambition to grow a 30 billion space industry by 2030.

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said:" Over the course of the Ministerial, we have secured the future of the UK in space. Our increased commitment to ExoMars means that the UK will be leading this inspirational project. And for the first time, the Union Jack will be flying on the International Space Station as a full partner.

"Together with the team from the UK Space Agency, we have achieved an outcome that will keep British science and industry at the forefront of the global market for satellite technology and services. The real benefits that come back to the UK from our investment with key telecommunications projects will help us achieve our ambitious target to create 100,000 new jobs by 2030."

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