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The government has chosen today to announce a major new space initiative – on the same day as the Daily Star launches our 'Spaced Out' campaign.
The new National Space Strategy sets out the government’s long-term vision for how the UK can become a major force in space research and exploration.
The wide-ranging plans – from satellite broadband networks to clearing up the growing mass of orbital space junk – are set to become part of the government’s “levelling up” agenda.
And new spaceports being developed in Cornwall and the Shetland Islands will bring hundreds of much-needed jobs to those areas, promises the new government announcement.
A spokesperson from the UK Space Agency told the Daily Star: "Whilst we wont be launching humans from our soil any time soon, the UK’s involvement in space is very exciting".
It comes on the same day the Daily Star went cosmic – launching our Spaced Out series to give readers a truly out of this world experience.
From close encounters, mysterious sightings and fascinating insights from scientists, the Spaced Out series will lead the way in exploring the cosmos. Find out everything you need to know here.
Back on terra firma the announcement from Boris Johnson’s spokesman said: “We’ll harness space technology to solve problems on Earth, creating jobs and levelling up across the UK”.
The first satellite launch from a British spaceport is due in 2022.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says that there’s a military dimension to this ambitious new announcement too.
“The ability to operate in space is fundamental to the success of our Armed Forces,” he said, “but also in maintaining civilian, commercial and economic activity. We launched UK Space Command this year for this very purpose”
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The government has said it will be investing an additional £1.4 billion to develop new capabilities over and above the £5 billion already committed to enhance the military’s satellite communications.
UK Science Minister Amanda Solloway says a new “Space Bridge” – expanding the close ties between Australia and the UK – “ is another step forward in our ambition for the UK to become a globally-competitive space power”
Tim Peake, the second Brit in space, said he was “delighted” that the government is putting this investment into the UK’s space sector: “For hundreds of thousands of years, we have looked to the stars in wonder.
“Today, space is part of our everyday life. Whether it is for navigation, communication, forecasting, science, sustainability, finance or simply entertainment, space is playing an ever-increasing role in delivering solutions.
"Space has become vital to our economy and a key part of our national infrastructure.”
The goal of the National Space Strategy is to grow the value of the UK’s space sector from an estimated £270 billion in 2019 to something like £490 billion by 2030.
- Boris Johnson
- Spaced Out
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