Firefly launcher during stage separation © Firefly Space Systems
The consortium brings together four key organisations with valuable complementary interests:
- Deimos Space UK, which has extensive experience and knowledge in launch trajectory analysis, safety and termination systems, architectures and approaches,
- SSTL, the world’s leading small satellite manufacturer with over 30 years of small-satellite launch experience,
- Firefly Space Systems, a US company who are developing a new small satellite launch vehicle that is a leading candidate to operate from the UK,
- Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish economic and community development agency covering the region where any vertical launch site in the UK would most likely be built, who can provide all of the vital local infrastructure and supply chain inputs.
The team is supplemented by a number of advisors with backgrounds and capabilities covering many of the key issues such as range safety certification, regulation, airspace management and meteorology.
Katherine Courtney, Interim Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency stated:
Deimos Space UK, together with partners Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), Firefly Space Systems and Scotland’s Highlands and Islands Enterprise, have been awarded a grant by the UK Space Agency to carry out an industrial research project to investigate the challenges associated with the introduction and operation of commercially viable small-satellite launch services from the UK.
“The government’s aim, as set out in the National Space Policy, is to support industry to open new markets by establishing a spaceport in the UK and to enable the UK space sector, valued at £11.8 billion in 2014, to grow to £40 billion by 2030. Low cost access to space is key to unlocking growth. We look forward to the technology and market insights these projects will deliver later this year – helping us get the policy right in this area.”