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Space industry exports from UK set to grow to £25bn by 2030

Space industry exports from the UK are set to grow to £25 billion in the next decade, meeting the industry and government target for space exports to make up 60% of the UK’s space sector revenue by 2030.

As the sector celebrates National Space Day (3rd May), and as the space industry intensifies, businesses in the UK are seeing the demand for their products and services rising globally, with small satellites leading the way.

In 2018, UK exports of space craft including satellites grew to £282.92 million, supported by the Department for International Trade’s Space Exports Campaign. Growing demand is being met by companies such as Oxford Space Systems (OSS), who are finding 70% of their business is coming from the United States.

The company is currently building one of its highest value export developments – a Large Deployable Antenna (LDA) – for LEO Earth observation mission using radar technology for a commercial customer looking to launch in 2020.

This will be the first non-US (and therefore International Traffic in Arms Regulations free) LDA launched into orbit, a major milestone both for OSS and the UK space sector.

Founder and CEO at Oxford Space Systems, Mike Lawton said:

The US is the epi-centre of the New Space industry, so it’s little surprise we see the bulk of enquires wanting innovative, cost-sensitive technology against compressed lead times coming from the United States. It’s only natural that as part of our continued growth, we’ll have a presence in the US in the not too distant future to better serve our customer base.

Business development manager, Michael Loweth added:

“The UK has a wealth of space expertise to leverage and has ambitious goals of trebling it’s space industry by 2030. It’s only natural that most of this growth is going to come from exporting the UK’s novel and innovative technology globally, especially considering the global nature of the space industry. There’s an unparalleled level of support for SMEs like OSS from the UK government through the UK Space Agency, Innovate UK, Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), and through DIT. The UK space start-up scene is really the envy of the world.’’

The Space Exports Campaign aims to enhance the position of UK companies in the international market. The offer to exporters includes space trade missions to priority markets including the USA and India, detailed information about new markets and access to a network of overseas market specialists.

The campaign includes a focus on the major space primes, such as Boeing and SpaceX in the United States, who value businesses that have innovative products that can enhance to better their capabilities.