UK launches space agency

The UK government has launched a UK Space Agency dedicated to coordinating the government's involvement in civilian spaceflight, with responsibility for looking after policy and budgets.

The government has launched a UK Space Agency dedicated to coordinating the government's involvement in civilian spaceflight, with responsibility for looking after policy and budgets.

The national space agency, which officially begins work on 1 April, will negotiate on the UK's behalf with international bodies. In addition, it will take over responsibility for some key UK and European space projects, including Galileo, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The agency was set up to help spur growth in the British space and satellite industry, which employs 68,000 workers and generates £6.5bn a year, according to science and technology minister Lord Drayson.

"The UK Space Agency will give the sector the muscle it needs to fulfil its ambition," said Drayson in the BIS statement. "Britain's space industry has defied the recession."

For more on this story, read UK space agency ready for take-off on ZDNet UK.

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