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by Staff Writers
Guildford, UK (SPX) Mar 28, 2011
British pioneer of small satellites, SSTL, has welcomed the UK Chancellor George Osborne's announcement of a new 10m pounds National Space Technology Program and changes to export regulations and UK space law to streamline exports as part of his 2011 Budget.
Space is a vibrant a growing sector of British industry, driven by entrepreneurship and innovation. Despite the recession, 2010 was SSTL's best year to date resulting in new contracts worth over 380m pounds from Europe, Kazakhstan and UK.
Sir Martin Sweeting, SSTL's Executive Chairman commented: "I would like to congratulate the Government on its new National Space Technology Program led by Minister Willets. It is fantastic news and a shrewd investment - previous programs such as MOSAIC helped create the Disaster Monitoring Constellation and provided more than 20:1 return on investment to the UK economy. We hope that this is the first of a sustained investment in space technology by the Government.
"I also strongly support the regulatory changes that were announced, and I am confident that these will help the UK space industry to compete in the International market.
"Reform of the Outer Space Act will help us to lower the cost of space missions, and the initiative to regulate security aspects of export business will streamline exports, levelling the playing field with our overseas competitors."
The National Space Program is focussed on the new International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) at Harwell, which the UK space industry is helping to develop. SSTL is supplying ground station equipment as part of ISIC's Earth Observation hub, and has helped create ISIC's Security and Resilience unit that is vital to ensuring the UK has secure access to important sources of data from space.
SSTL has achieved growth year on year and will launch six satellites in 2011. With this growth its workforce has grown by 15% during the past year to over 350, and new highly skilled jobs are being created. The new 10m pounds state-of-the-art Kepler building technical facility will be opened later this year in Surrey.
Innovation is the key to the UK's commercial success around the world. SSTL has recently unveiled new Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and high-resolution Earth observation satellite products that are the most capable imaging satellites of their class in the world.
The commercialisation of such technologies can be accelerated with small seed investment by government programs and technology demonstration missions such as the UK's TechDemoSat-1 mission that enable payload providers to showcase innovative technology in space.
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
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