Scotland’s growing space industry has the potential to help put the UK at the forefront of the worldwide launch market for small commercial satellites over the next few years, a new study has found.
A detailed market analysis of the UK space launch opportunity was commissioned by development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and carried out by RSM UK and SpaceTec Partners, an independent management consulting firm specialising in the international space sector.
The study concludes that the UK is well-positioned to access a growing global market that will send almost 4,000 small satellites (3,814) into ‘near space’ orbit of up 62 miles through 970 launches between 2020 and 2031. This scale of activity has the potential to generate cumulative spaceport services revenues of around $490m (c£350m) and $5.8 billion (c£4.2 billion) in launch revenues.
Martin Johnson, Highlands and Islands Enterprise director of strategy and regional economy, said the research represents the most extensive study of the market opportunity for the UK space sector that has been carried out to date: “These findings show the UK space sector is set for considerable growth this decade, and that presents a tremendous economic opportunity for Scotland.
“This growth is largely driven by our increasing use of devices, such as smart phones and watches and streaming services, as well as the need for accurate Earth observation data for a range of uses including monitoring climate change. The Highlands and Islands is ideally placed to host launch services at a number of locations that offer good access to orbit and other advantages. Launch capacity in turn supports opportunities for manufacturers of satellites and launch vehicles, as well as the wider supply chain.
“Importantly, this research demonstrates that the market scale is capable of supporting a number of complementary UK launch sites, that together will strengthen the country’s competitive position on the international stage.”
John Innes, Chair of the UK Spaceport Alliance, added: “The UK Spaceport Alliance welcomes this assessment as an important and very valuable contribution to producing a realistic picture of the space market.
“The Alliance is pleased that the conclusions of the report support the views of the spaceport sector that there is a strong, immediate and growing market for launch which Scotland and the UK is well placed to exploit with its strong and diverse range of spaceport facilities.
“The Alliance is also pleased to see and supports the emphasis in the report on the highly competitive international nature of this market. This provides additional evidence of the need for the UK to work collaboratively and for government to ensure the appropriate economic and regulatory environment to facilitate the successful growth of the UK spaceports and the Prime Minister’s commitment to supporting commercial UK launches starting in 2022.”
Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter
Most recent Articles
This Article firstly Publish on www.aero-mag.com