UK Space Agency opens £32 million kitty (Wired UK)


Artist impression showing Philae separating from Rosetta and descending to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

ESA/ATG medialab


A new multi-million pound grant has been announced to
bolster the UK’s space industry following the phenomenal success of
the European Space Agency Rosetta mission. Grants will be awarded
to British companies working with international partners developing
satellite technology for humanitarian causes.

A total of £32 million will be made available by the
UK Space Agency with match funding
also provided by industry. More than 5,000 jobs have been created
in the UK space industry in the last two years, with over 34,000
people now directly employed.

Running over the next two years, the International Partnership Space Programme (IPSP) will support
UK companies in an attempt to further grow the country’s space
sector. It is hoped that the money will encourage development of
new satellite technology to tackle flooding, deforestation and
humanitarian crises in the developing world.

The new grant will hope to piggyback on the success of
the European Space Agency’s
Rosetta mission, which received significant support from the UK.
Open University scientists in Milton Keynes worked for years to
create a miniature mass spectrometer called Ptolemy to conduct
laboratory experiments on the surface of Comet 67P. The Open
University was also involved in the development of Philae’s MUPUS
hammer.

Science minister Greg Clark said that missions like
Rosetta were crucial to inspiring growth in the industry:

“Rosetta has captured the world’s imagination, and the
mission is a real testament to British engineering and
technological expertise,” he said.

“Today’s funding will give even more UK companies the
chance to work on these kinds of exciting projects so that more
people can enjoy the considerable economic and social benefits that
new space technologies provide.”

The government hopes that the UK’s space sector will continue to
grow. By 2030 it wants that 10 per cent of the global space sector
to be based in the UK.

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18 November 2014 | 12:11 pm – Source: wired.co.uk

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