Written Evidence Submitted by Lucy Edge, Chief Operating Officer, Satellite Applications Catapult
Thank you for your leadership of the Science and Technology Select Committee and your interest in the National Space Strategy.
It was a pleasure to attend the first panel of the review and to have the opportunity to share the Catapult’s passionately held view that the new space economy is a very real and critical component of the UK’s high-tech, high-sustainability future.
We have been invited to provide some additional information for the committee’s consideration. I have attached a brochure about one of the most exciting topics in space at the moment, In-Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing (IOSM), and the opportunity for growth that it provides in the UK. It was written in collaboration with industry and with the trade body, UKSpace.
Building capabilities for satellite servicing and debris removal opens up bigger, more strategic, and longer-term markets linked to assembly and manufacturing in space as an in-orbit economy develops. Large scale future communication and observation systems, in-space laboratories and space-based power stations will all grow from the de-risking of these IOSM technologies.
In the attached document the authors demonstrate that the UK has the capability, opportunity and need to take a leadership position in ensuring space sustainability and can use this position as platform for longer-term prospects.
With companies such as SpaceForge setting up in the UK and others (D-orbit, Astroscale) investing in significant UK presence we have the capability to take a world-leading position in the technology and business opportunities that develop.
This government has shown enthusiasm for space and its growing global importance. With decisive Government action, the British space industry could more than double to £40 billion by 2030. We are certain that IOSM is a key part of that action.
When we met you mentioned a visit to the Harwell campus. We are ready to arrange that at a time and date that suits and will bring a number of the exciting IOSM organisations for you to meet too.