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UK launches National Space Strategy

Reflecting the growing importance of the space domain to the UK, as illustrated here with a rendering of the Airbus Skynet satellite communications system, the country has launched its long-awaited National Space Strategy. (Airbus)

The United Kingdom launched its long-awaited National Space Strategy on 27 September.

The 42-page document, which had been originally due for release in 2018 but which was delayed for undisclosed reasons, aims to bring together “the UK's strengths in science and technology, defence, regulation, and diplomacy to pursue a bold national vision”.

This first ever National Space Strategy identifies five goals, as well as the activities that government, academia and industry will need to take to achieve them. “The prime minister has called for the UK to become a meaningful actor in space, and for the first time this strategy brings together our civil and defence activities into one integrated approach to achieve this ambition. Our partners in the space ecosystem will be vital to delivering this strategy, and we have asked the UK Space Agency and UK Space Command to work together to deliver on these goals,” it states.

The goals as listed are to grow and level up the country's space economy; to promote the values of Global Britain; to lead pioneering scientific discovery and to inspire the nation; and to use space to deliver for UK citizens and the world. The means to achieving these goals comprise unlocking growth in the space sector; growing the UK as a science and technology superpower; collaborating internationally; and developing resilient space capabilities and services.

In terms of defence, the strategy notes the UK's first Defence Space Portfolio, with GBP5 billion (USD6.9 billion) over 10 years in the military's satellite communications, and GBP1.4 billion in new technologies and capabilities.

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