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The UK Space Agency has announced £2.7 million for 13 early-stage UK technology projects to support the growing satellite launch sector.

The UK is on track to become the first country in Europe to offer commercial launch services to small satellite manufacturers, from a range of spaceports offering both horizontal and vertical rocket launch capabilities.

Funding from the agency’s new Launch UK Technology Investment Programme will support teams from industry and universities to develop technology, products and services that will enhance the UK spaceflight supply chain, strengthen international competitiveness and catalyse further investment.

One project will recycle materials, including natural cork, to create thermal protection solutions for launcher propulsion systems and launch vehicles with a lower environmental impact, while another will develop launcher components out of lighter and more cost-effective metal composites, reducing the risk of creating space debris. Two further projects will follow next year.

Ian Annett, Deputy CEO at the UK Space Agency, said:

“Funding new science and technology developments is crucial to growing the UK space sector and catalysing further investment into our economy.”

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