The space industry has a “huge amount of ambition and potential” that needs to be unlocked if it is to flourish in the years ahead, said Doug Liddle, CEO, In-Space Missions.

The company, which was recently acquired by BAE Systems Digital Intelligence, was founded in 2015 and is based in Hampshire with more than 30 employees.

It designs, builds and operates bespoke physical and digital customer space missions, providing a service to customers keen to get their technology on orbit quickly.

‘Rideshare’ satellite

It also recently launched a ‘rideshare’ satellite in June this year, ‘Faraday Phoenix’ combining six satellites into one spacecraft – allowing customers to take a ‘slot’ on board rather than having to build and manage an entire spacecraft and launch for themselves.

Liddle said: “The biggest challenge is we have this huge amount of ambition and potential sitting inside not only industry but academia … we need to find a way to unleash that.

“That’s the trick we’re going to have to face over the next couple of years. I think a lot of that’s going to come about … by industry and academia and government working much more closely together. We have a problem sometimes in the UK, we all keep everything a bit at arm’s length.

“It’s clear that in order for the UK to achieve its national goals, not only as set out in the Defence Space Strategy, in the National Space Strategy, but also those wider economic growth goals for the country, I think we need to find a way to embrace each other a bit more.”

‘We need to go fast’

Elizabeth Seward, head of strategy, space at BAE Systems, added: “We were really, really pleased to have that National Space Strategy and National Defence Strategy now published. It’s given us that marker in the sand of, ‘these are the ambitions of the UK and this is where we’re going’.

“And our big challenge now is to have those next steps to actually put more concrete information behind it and planning so that we can do something with that focus and do it all together. And so we’re working on it, we’ve got discussions ongoing at all different levels of the industry and with government but we need to go fast because other countries are already doing it.”
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