When imagining space crafts most people would think of the USA. However there is also a growing space industry in the UK. The space industry is said to be one of the highest value adding sectors in the UK economy.
Surrey Satellite Technology is a manufacturing company in this industry based in Guildford, Surrey, although their products are usually launched in sites across the former USSR.
The company launched 34 satellites in the last 25 years. Most of the satellites they make are for taking images of the Earth using cameras, but they also make other telecommunication and navigational ones as well. The biggest contract they have right now is making 'Galileo' which will be a navigation system for Europe and up against Americas GPS system.
The company claims to already be popular within the industry. The popularity has grown out of the country and last year a European Satellite manufacturer bought a controlling stake of the business.
So how does this small British company compete with the massive manufacturers in the United States? Their answer is lowering the costs. Rather than using the traditional and very expensive space qualified components, Surrey Satellite Technology uses commercial of-the-shelf parts.
With their alternative methods, this UK company has managed to give a substitute to the American products for the UK and European space industry, and so far their exports are on the rise.Source: Working Lunch, BBC. (26-01-2010)UK Space Industry
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