NEW LAWS that aim to accelerate space innovation, exploration and investment across the UK are set to be enshrined into law on Thursday.
The Space Industry Bill, which will be signed by the Queen today, could pave the way for the first-ever commercial space launch from British soil.
It will create "hundreds of highly-skilled jobs" and result in "billions of bounds for the economy", claimed UK gov, with the bill set to equip British firms with the means to compete with each other in the commercial space industry. They could launch small satellites into space, for example, or pioneer hypersonic flight.
The law will also allow British firms and academics to "carry out cutting-edge research and inspire the next generation of British scientists and engineers".
For example, the government has already created more than 1,000 apprenticeships in the space sector as part of its Year of Engineering campaign.
According to the government, this law will turn the UK into "a one-stop shop for satellite services and the best place in Europe to start and grow a space business".
Transport Minister Jo Johnson said it will kickstart a technological revolution in the UK and says he believes the law will "drive growth across the country".
Johnson explained that space is the "final piece of the puzzle for the UK space sector and forms part of the government's Industrial Strategy".
"The Space Industry Bill gives companies the ability to launch satellites from UK soil, putting us at the forefront of the new space race, and helping us to compete as the destination of choice for satellite companies worldwide."
Science Minister Sam Gyimah said the government will collaborate with companies and scientists to tap into the lucrative space technology market.
"The Space Industry Bill offers an exciting opportunity for the UK to soar to new heights and be at the forefront of the commercial space age," he said.
"Through the government's ambitious Industrial Strategy, we are working with the sector to pursue pioneering commercial space opportunities, including developing new technologies, infrastructure and services.
"This will open up the UK to new frontiers, transforming the way we live, and establishing us as a space flight leader."
By 2030, the UK wants to boost its share of the global space industry from 6.5 per cent to 10 per cent. Satellite services are already thought to be worth $250bn to the UK economy.
To coincide with the law, Gyimah plans to launch eight new space technology projects, covering such areas as machine learning, drones and electric vehicles.
Dr Graham Turnock, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, added: "The Space Industry Bill guarantees the sky is not the limit for future generations of engineers, entrepreneurs and scientists.
"We will set out how we plan to accelerate the development of the first commercial launch services from the UK, and realise the full potential of this enabling legislation over the coming months." µ
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