The new UK Space Agency will be a champion for the British space industry
At a conference in London, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson announced the creation of a UK Space Agency (UKSA), to come into being on 1 April.
To date, British space policy and budgets have been devolved to a partnership of government departments and science funding councils. UKSA now will assume responsibility for these partners’ budgets and management functions.
The agency will also represent Britain on space matters in all dealings with international partners. It will champion British space interests abroad and help an already successful space industry to grow still further.
Britain’s space and satellite sector employs 68,000 people and contributes £6 billion a year to the economy. It has grown in real terms by around 9% a year since 1999, more than three times faster than the economy as a whole. However, said Lord Drayson at the event, “People in the UK are not aware of just how good Britain is both at space research and in terms of our space industry: the space agency is going to make people more aware of that.”