UK companies to provide services for future Moon missions

The UK Space Agency has announced over £50 million for UK companies to develop communication and navigation services for missions to the Moon.

The new funding is part of the European Space Agency’s Moonlight programme, which aims to launch a constellation of satellites into orbit around the Moon, from 2028.

This will allow future astronauts, rovers, science experiments and other equipment to communicate, share large amounts of data including high-definition video, and navigate safely across the lunar surface.

The UK is one of the two leading international investors in the programme, alongside Italy, placing the UK space sector at the heart of this new frontier.

Independent research suggests more than 250 missions to the Moon are due to launch over the next decade alone, generating almost £90 billion in global economic returns and thousands of new jobs.

The UK space and satellite sector currently employs 47,000 people across the country and is set to grow further, with increased government support.