Tim Furniss

Lord Sainsbury, the UK's science minister, announced at the Show yesterday the selection of three projects to use satellites to demonstrate new applications, opening up new markets for industry.

The projects are Surrey Satellite Technology's (SSTL) Gemini communications satellite, the DERA Topsat - with SSTL participaton - and an SSTL-sponsored Disaster Monitoring Constellation. The selection was made as part of the UK's National Space Centre's Mosaic programme for small satellites. $22 million has been made available to support industrial and end-user partnerships. Before the Mosaic funding can be awarded, each company must have partnerships and some funding in place.

Commercial satellite applications were very much a theme of Sainsbury's address.

He cited the $150 billion of worldwide government money that is saved per year by the commercialisation of space applications, identifying 1996 as the year when Government funding for space programmes began to get less than that put into commercial investment of projects.

"The full potential of space projects can only be apparent when they are affordable," he said.

Source: Flight Daily News