Returning to face-to-face meetings after the pandemic is helping the space sector thrive, according to Patrick Wood, senior vice president at Space Systems UK – Airbus.

“The UK space industry is such a fantastic industry,” he said during the Space-Comm Expo 2022.

“It’s grown a lot over the last five, 10, 15 years. When I started in it, it was very much about telecommunications … now we have the explosion in the work in low Earth orbit constellations, a lot more work on navigation type missions, a lot more work on Earth observation.

“It’s really about that combination of science, telecommunications, some of the military work that we do. It’s just the ability to grow all of those sectors. And of course, for us, it’s really important to grow the supply chain.

“Events like this are really, really important for us to connect with our supply chain. Because we’re a large organisation, sometimes actually getting face-to-face and having those exchanges and going, ‘Yes, actually, you’ve got a product that we could fly in space’ is just fantastic.”


Asked about the importance of collaboration, Wood added: “It’s fundamental in space. If I look around the room, you could look and say there are competitors in the room. Actually … we work as partners.

“Space is one of those [areas] where we might be working on particular subsystems of a spacecraft, so we have to work together. It’s incredibly important.

“It’s also important to work with the government, space agency, BEIS [The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy], to understand the direction, understand how we help develop skills in the future.”
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