UK satellite exports go into orbit

Economy & Politics | Export | South East | Technology

Space

UK space exports are set to grow to £25bn in the next decade, meeting the industry and government target for space exports to make up 60% of the UK’s space sector revenue by 2030.

As the sector celebrates National Space Day and as the race to space intensifies, businesses in the UK are seeing the demand for their products and services rising globally, with small satellites leading the way. In 2018, UK exports of spacecraft including satellites grew to £282.9m, supported by DIT’s Space Exports Campaign. Growing demand is being met by companies such as Oxford Space Systems (OSS), who are finding 70% of their business is coming from the United States.

It is currently building one of its highest value export developments – a Large Deployable Antenna (LDA) – for LEO Earth observation mission using radar technology for a commercial customer looking to launch in 2020.

This will be the first non-US (and therefore International Traffic in Arms Regulations free) LDA launched into orbit, a major milestone both for OSS and the UK space sector.

Founder and CEO at OSS, Mike Lawton said: “The US is the epi-centre of the New Space industry, so it’s little surprise we see the bulk of enquires wanting innovative, cost-sensitive technology against compressed lead times coming from the United States. It’s only natural that as part of our continued growth, we’ll have a presence in the US in the not too distant future to better serve our customer base.”

Business Development Manager, Michael Loweth said: “The UK has a wealth of space expertise to leverage and has ambitious goals of trebling it’s space industry by 2030. It’s only natural that most of this growth is going to come from exporting the UK’s novel and innovative technology globally, especially considering the global nature of the space industry. There’s an unparalleled level of support for SMEs like OSS from the UK government through the UK Space Agency, Innovate UK, Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), and through DIT. The UK space start-up scene is really the envy of the world!’’

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