UK Space Agency unveiled

The government hopes the agency will give the UK space sector some 'muscle'.

UK Space Agency logo

The Government has unveiled the new UK Space Agency.

Announced last year, the replacement for the British National Space Centre is expected to help organise the 6 billion UK sector and improve communication with the European Space Agency. It will start operating on 1 April.

The Government also used the launch event to announce an International Space Innovation Centre at Harwell, Oxfordshire.

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The 40 million centre will work with the ESA to use space data to investigate climate change, advise on space systems' security, and analyse data from observation satellites.

Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson said: "The action we're taking today shows that we're really serious about space. The UK Space Agency will give the sector the muscle it needs to fulfil its ambition."

Looking to the stars

The Government sees the space industry as a wise choice for investment, believing that the 6 billion UK sector could be worth 40 billion to the economy, creating 100,000 new jobs in the next eight years.

Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said: "The 6 billion space industry is one of Britain's real success stories. Year on year it provides more jobs both directly and indirectly to the UK workforce."

"This is exactly the kind of high value-added industry we need to support as we rebalance our economy, creating sustainable growth and the jobs of the future," he added.

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Read on to find out how much space is worth to Britain.

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