Minister Visits White City Based Satellite Company

Recent deals have ended reliance on Russian rocket technology

Lord Grimstone (centre) meets some of the staff at OneWeb
Lord Grimstone (centre) meets some of the staff at OneWeb

A government Minister recently visited White City-based satellite communications company OneWeb following the firm’s historic agreements with New Space India (the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation) and Space X to break reliance on Russian technology.

The Government invested $500 million in OneWeb in November 2020 with the aim of putting the UK at the forefront of rapidly evolving space technologies and Lord Grimstone came to the company’s office to check on progress.

New deals with India and the US mean OneWeb’s satellite launches can resume after remaining launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, were suspended in March following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone said, “Space plays a pivotal role in our daily lives and is a vital part of our economy, worth over £16 billion per year.

“The UK’s strategic investment in OneWeb strengthens our plan to put the UK at the forefront of the latest advances in space technology and become a global science superpower.

“This investment is supporting the UK to foster new partnerships with some of our closest trade and investment allies, with deals with New Space India and SpaceX, keeping OneWeb on course to provide connectivity across the globe and deliver on the UK’s space ambitions.”

OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson said, “We are delighted to welcome Lord Grimstone and his team to the OneWeb HQ in London. Their visit includes a live demonstration of our service, currently available from the North Pole down to 50 degrees latitude, connecting their internet devices via satellite.

“Our low-latency capability opens the way for multiple trade-use cases. We look forward to delivering global connectivity for a Global Britain.”

Lord Grimstone gets to see some of the company's technology
Lord Grimstone gets to see some of the company's technology

The company develops Low Earth Orbit (LEO) technology and the government published a National Space Strategy last year which looks to harness the strengths of the UK space sector and support British companies to seize future opportunities, with the global space economy projected to grow from an estimated £240 billion in 2019 to £430 billion by 2030. The UK already has a significant space sector employing over 45,000 people from space scientists and researchers to engineers and satellite manufacturers.

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May 9, 2022