The UK’s space sector contributed £7bn to the UK economy last year, new data has revealed.
Kevin Craven, chief executive of aerospace and defence trade organisation ADS Group, which published the data, said that the UK continues to be a “world leader” in space, but that “innovation and expertise must be fully utilised and leveraged to secure UK advantage”.
The figure shows that the UK’s space industry is still going strong after it was hit by the botched Cornwall launch of British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit in January.
The California-based company subsequently paused operations and placed some staff on furlough in early March, before eventually filing for bankruptcy in April.
Will Lecky, co-founder and director of know.space, a space economics and strategy consultancy, told City A.M: “While the Virgin Orbit launch was a setback, it is not the only game in town. We view that we are still in the relatively early days of a long-term growth story.”
“The UK can’t be complacent in what is a competitive global landscape, though it is well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities as we progress towards a $1tn global space market,” Lecky said.