The announcement was made at the Farnborough Airshow this week, where Space Minister David Willetts said the government had signed an agreement with these two countries to develop Earth-observation satellite technology, which will give a better insight into climate change.
He said the agreement showed that international partners viewed Britain as a “major player in the space industry”. He also pointed out that the Russian agreement would help cut down
some customs and tax issues involved in space-based projects.
But that’s not the only technology project the government has its eye on. It has also announced a £4.9 million contract to build an Earth Observation Hub at the International Space Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire, which will be used to process the information collected by future space missions.
Announcing this project Willetts said: “The Earth Observation Hub will help UK scientists make the most of the wealth of information we are collecting about our home planet, in vital areas such as monitoring the effects of climate change or so we can respond quickly to natural disasters throughout the world.”
He added it was an important first step in making the International Space Innovation Centre a reality, linking regional space capabilities and promoting knowledge-sharing between academia and industry.
According to eWeek Europe, government figures show that the UK’s space sector contributes £6.5 billion a year to the UK economy and supports 68,000 jobs.