The UK space sector’s significant contributions to the country’s innovation and economy were showcased throughout the 2022 Farnborough International Airshow (18-22 July) in the dedicated Space Zone.
It was a pleasure to exhibit alongside so many UKspace members, and get the latest news and updates from them about their respective businesses. This included Reaction Engines signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Viritech to bring rocket science to hydrogen vehicles, Oxford Space Systems and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd completing the build of an innovative deployable Synthetic Aperture Radar antenna payload for the next generation of high-performance low-cost Earth Observation radar, and Satellite Vu and SSTL commissioning satellite clone to double climate data collection. Elsewhere, RHEA Group announced plans for its first satellite, DOVER Pathfinder, the Moonlight Project agreement was signed by Inmarsat and Telespazio regarding the future development of the lunar economy, and Raytheon UK announced that it was acquiring Northern Space and Security Ltd.
Among the politicians visiting the Space Zone were Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, and the Government’s recently appointed National Space Champion, David Morris MP.
We also welcomed European Space Agency astronaut, Tim Peake, to the UKspace stand, updating him on the growth of UKspace and explaining how we are working with industry and government stakeholders to represent the views of our members and ensure space remains a key strategic focus for the UK.
Over the five days, the Space Theatre (within the Space Zone) played host to a range of sessions, with speakers from the UK and international space community, including ESA Director-General Dr Josef Aschbacher, NASA Deputy Administrator Pamela Melroy and Tim Peake.
UKspace was also represented in the Space Theatre, with our incoming Chair, Alice Bunn, participating in a panel session about ‘Investment, Discovery and Sustainability in the Global Space Economy’, moderated by Paul Bate, CEO, UK Space Agency. On the key issue of space sustainability, Alice urged the international space sector to “address it now, today, for future generations. Future missions need to know how they can operate safely in space.” She also emphasised the “real life benefits” provided by space for young people as they consider their future careers. Meanwhile, in the panel about ‘Skills for the Space Sector’, John Hanley, Vice Chair of UKspace and Chair of the Space Skills Advisory Panel, outlined how ensuring the supply of the right skills into the sector will be fundamental to sustain growth, and explained how the Space Skills Advisory Panel is helping address these challenges.
The UK Space Sector Showcase featured speakers from B2 Space, Astroscale, Oxford Space Systems, D-Orbit, Oxford Dynamics, Teledyne e2v and RHEA Group, each of whom had two minutes to explain what their respective company does, before UKspace director, Lizzie Kerr, rounded off the session with an insight into UKspace’s work and the value it provides.