Mar 25, 2011

SSTL welcomes the Chancellor’s National Space Technology Programme

Estimated Article Reading Time: 2 min.

British pioneer of small satellites, SSTL, has welcomed the UK Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement of a new £10m National Space Technology Programme 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 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 Programme led by Minister Willets. It is fantastic news and a shrewd investment – previous programmes 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 Programme 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 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 programmes and technology demonstration missions such as the UK’s TechDemoSat-1 mission that enable payload providers to showcase innovative technology in space.

About SSTL

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world’s leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The Company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, with over 300 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.

Since 1981 SSTL has built and launched 34 satellites – as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, with its innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.

Based in Guildford, UK, SSTL is owned by EADS Astrium NV.

Notes to editor:
This press release can be downloaded as a Word or Pdf document at the following url:

SSTL Contact:
Joelle Sykes, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
Tel: +44 (0)1483 804243 Email:

Press Contact:
Robin Wolstenholme, bcm public relations
Tel: +44 (0)1306 882288 Email: