Guildford-based Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) clearly sees benefit to the UK space industry following this week’s ESA Ministerial. The UK’s decision to support both the programme for Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and the technology development programme ARTES, will ensure a much stronger position for UK industry within the global market.
Previous investment in space by the UK government resulted in a ten fold return on investment and helped place SSTL as the world’s premier supplier of small satellites. SSTL employs 300 staff across three sites in south-east England, and is currently building the Company’s 41st spacecraft.
Sir Martin Sweeting, Chairman of SSTL, noted: “We greatly appreciate the vision shown by the UK, under the leadership of Lord Drayson and the British National Space Centre, in taking such a strong position in these difficult financial times. The GMES programme is critical in helping the world combat the threat of climate change and the UK is in the best position to provide the rapid, affordable solutions required.”
With the environment and climate control at the top of worldwide government agendas, Europe’s flagship Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme provides the UK with an opportunity to take a major scientific and industrial role in monitoring the planet to support the Government’s stand on taking a lead in responding to climate change.
SSTL are also developing a more affordable communications satellite with the help of the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and ESA through the ARTES programme. Paul Brooks, Director of Business Development at SSTL, highlighted the importance of this support, “The company is only too aware of growing competition from overseas which is weighing against the UK in lost business opportunities. Exports account for more than 90% of SSTL’s business, which turned over more than £30 million for the UK last year, and the ARTES support will enable the UK to provide a competitive product in a communications satellite market worth around $5billion.”