Weekly UK Space Roundup 9th July 2020
If there is one piece of news that we can't do with missing this week, it is the huge news of the UK Government intervening in OneWeb, but equally important is our first story of the week:
European Space Agency awards contracts for Copernicus satellite network to Thales Alenia The French Italian partnership gained the largest of the contractual awards for the Copernicus development roles, winning 3 of the 6 lead developer roles.
There was some controversy around the award which the UK missed out on being outside of the EU. See our full article on the UK implication.
The Copernicus satellites will conduct Earth observation missions equipped with synthetic aperture RADAR, which is famous for showing detailed topography through cloud, and multi-spectral imaging technologies, which will monitor the heath of the Earth's environment.
Also on the winners list were Airbus Defence & Space with two of the remaining contracts and OHB Space Systems with the final award.
Time for the Big One: UK Government buys 45% of Bankrupt OneWeb Satellites for £400m
Her Majesty's Government joined Bharti Enterprises (see our article on exactly who Bharti are, and how that impacts the UK's plans for OneWeb) in equally staking $500m USD (£400m) for 45% shares in OneWeb which left 10% for the existing investors which includes Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic, Hughes and of course Bharti Enterprises from their first round investment and the Government of Rwanda.
The Government has bought the minority share in OneWeb in the hope of both bringing manufacturing jobs to the United Kingdom from the USA, and for creating, in lieu of Galileo, a navigation, timing and communications system sovereign to the United Kingdom.
In News from around the world: Australia signs deal with Japanese JAXA
Last week we reported on the Australian Space Agency reaching two years old with ambitious style, and this week the consolidate their successes by teaming up with JAXA in an historic deal to allow future joint missions that will accelerate the ambitions of both agencies.
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Thanks for checking in, and until next time remember that every Giant Leap is set up by thousands of small steps.