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UK Space Agency Taps Airbus for Space Industry Development Initiatives

UK Space Agency Taps Airbus for Space Industry Development Initiatives

The UK Space Agency has awarded $4.9 million to Airbus Defence and Space for the development of a space and connectivity catalyst, which will be accessible to new and current space industry players. An Airbus press release said the new Space Catalyst will be created on a 14-acre site with a range of facilities at the company’s Stevenage headquarters. 

The facilities, which will be available to new and current space industry players, will be under the Airbus’ Community for Space Prosperity program geared at growing the U.K. space supply chain along with the sector’s research and outreach activities. 

At the Space Catalyst, Airbus plans to create several laboratories for robotics, flat satellites and related space disciplines, which will be accessible to companies in the sector. The facilities will have an interconnected setup to help spur the rapid development of innovations for a full space mission, Airbus said.

The Airbus award is part of UKSA’s $59.2 million Space Clusters and Infrastructure Fund that the agency has granted to 12 projects supporting new initiatives to expand the U.K.’s space industry. The industry is estimated to be contributing $22.1 billion annually to the U.K. economy. The SCIF is expected to double to $123.6 with the sector’s match funding.

Paul Bate, UKSA chief executive, said Airbus’ new Stevenage facilities under CUSP create an exciting opportunity for wider space industry support. “Infrastructure like this will help ensure the U.K. stays at the forefront of international space missions,” he added.

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