The government has promised to put Britain at the heart of new space-flight technology as it announced a series of bills aimed at bolstering British infrastructure.
The UK space industry is worth £13.7bn to the economy, while satellites support over 38,000 jobs in Britain.
The global market for launching satellites is estimated to reach £25bn over the next 20 years, presenting fresh opportunities to grow the UK’s space sector and create new, high-skilled jobs.
New legislation to be outlined today will ensure the UK takes advantage of these new markets and ends its reliance on foreign launch services, taking it into the commercial space age, the government said.
New powers will allow the launch of satellites from the UK for the first time as well as allowing horizontal flights to the edge of space for scientific experiments and the establishment and operation of spaceports in regions across the UK.
“We are absolutely determined to give Britain the transport infrastructure it needs so that we can thrive and grow as we leave the European Union,” said transport secretary Chris Grayling.
Legislation to be set out later this week will also outline next steps on the HS2 railway.
Another bill will focus on supporting drivers of the UK’s electronic cars. While there are already 100,000 plug-in cars and vans registered on Britain’s roads, the government said more must be done to remove the barriers preventing more drivers from switching to electric vehicles.
“The measures we outline this week will ensure our legal structures are ready for the high skill, highly paid jobs of the future, while backing the transport projects that will make journeys better for ordinary working people,” Grayling said.