Space, for international collaboration

4 – 10 October is World Space Week! This year’s theme looks at how space unites the world.

When we think about the UK space industry, we naturally see its international partnerships. Major Tim Peake is a European Space Agency astronaut but of British nationality. Satellites and space technology built in the UK goes into space launched from French Guiana or the United States, as we don’t yet have our own spaceports for rocket launches.

There’s been a lot of talk about how Brexit may affect the UK space industry – the UK may not be allowed to continue our participation in Galileo, for example. But there are many reasons to remain positive about the UK’s place in the global space sector.

The UK space sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK economy, and will continue to grow; we will continue to make international partnerships and collaborate in a post-Brexit world. Just this week the UK Space Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australia which will see us co-operating on activities including communications technologies, space situational awareness and satellite navigation.

We have valuable expertise and experience to bring to the EU and other international partners, just as they have something valuable to bring to the UK. We should not seek to be isolationist in our approach, our industry, and the world, benefits from its international collaborations.

Space holds so much potential, through what we can achieve with it, pushing boundaries, reaching new limits – and the UK space industry has the potential to be at the heart of it.

This World Space Week, we will look at the UK Space industry and hope to show you that our industry is thriving and home to a lot of interesting technologies and intellectual property.

And with the spaceports we are creating, for the UK, the sky is no longer the limit in the new space age.