A rare cloud-free view of Ireland, Great Britain and northern France

Media pack: First ESA facility in UK - a catalyst for growth

On Thursday 9 July, ESA, the European Space Agency, European government leaders and space sector representatives will come together to inaugurate new ESA facilities and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories at the UK Space Gateway in Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QX.

ESA’s first British astronaut Tim Peake will interact with the audience from his training place in Star City, Russia.

ESA will also sign its partnership with leading satellite operator Eutelsat on the Quantum project – a revolutionary flexible satellite design primed and manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space in the UK using a new platform from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. 

The event will be filmed. All pictures will be made available on Flickr soon after. The footage will be made available to media soon afterwards via FTP server, to which the access will given upon request.

Contact ecsat.communication@esa.int or Giorgia Muirhead on +44 7900 696526 with any requests for interviews or further information.

Programme 9 July

  • 09.00–11.00  Media briefing and interview opportunities with leaders and entrepreneurs at Space Applications Catapult
  • 11.00–11.30  ESA ECSAT inauguration of Roy Gibson Building
  • 11.30–12.00  Signature of Quantum contract (ESA, Eutelsat, Airbus)
  • 12.00–13.00  STFC RAL Space Development and Test Facility inauguration
  • 14.00–16.00  Space Entrepreneurs exhibition and Harwell Campus tours

Why ECSAT

The expansion of ESA matches the increased importance given to space by the UK.

  • The UK space industry turnover has been growing at an annual average of 7.3% as recorded in 2012/2013
  • It is worth £11.3 billion to the UK economy, employing over 34,000 people and supporting a further 65,000 jobs in other sectors
  • 70% of the UK space industry’s production is exported

Read more about ECSAT.

Read more about the economic benefits of space in the UK Space Agency's Size & Health of the UK Space Industry.

Read more about Harwell Campus, the UK Space Gateway and ECSAT's home.

Read more about ECSAT's new 'green' building.

Quantum, the telecom game-changer

Quantum

Eutelsat Quantum is a new public–private partnership between ESA and Eutelsat. It is a revolutionary flexible satellite design primed and manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space in the UK using a new platform from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. 

Read more about Quantum

Last update: 9 July 2015

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