THE UK GOVERNMENT is set to bung the UK Space Agency £6m towards funding commercial products and services with an off-world flavour.
The cash will go into the National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) and will be split between four projects.
"The UK space industry supports thousands of high-tech jobs in the UK and is an important driver of economic growth," said Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts.
"This £6m investment will build on that success by helping some of the most innovative British businesses develop highly commercial, cutting-edge space technology that will be in demand in a growing global market."
The four projects include work on a next generation telecommunications satellite system, a suitcase-sized Ka-band satcom terminal that will offer high bandwidth satellite broadband connections, climate change-flavoured Earth observation systems, and the development of an S-Band synthetic aperture radar instrument.
"These initial major projects springing out of the National Space Technology Programme are great examples of innovative and ambitious R&D in the UK space sector," said Dr David Williams, chief executive of the UK Space Agency.
"By investing in these projects, we are securing our future national capability across the range of vital applications and services that space technology can provide." µ