National Space Council to be chaired by Rishi Sunak
RISHI SUNAK is to lead the National Space Council as the UK attempts to position itself at the forefront of space technology, The Telegraph can reveal.
The National Space Council will be chaired by the Chancellor. It will also include the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, the Cabinet Office Minister, Defence Secretary, Business Secretary and Digital Secretary.
Newly published guidance says the Space Council’s remit includes considering issues “concerning prosperity, diplomacy and national security in, through and from space”.
The aim of the Space Council will be to promote national security and international deals in the space sector, as well as to focus investment.
The industry has trebled in size since 2000. Industry figures have long called for a space committee at the highest levels of Government to give the sector a seat at the executive table.
The Government first announced plans for the National Space Council last summer, trumpeting pledges to work with the US in cementing Britain’s place in the new space race.
Investment in the sector announced last year included £20m for a space port in Cornwall and plans for Virgin Orbit to develop launch capacity in the UK. But the plans went quiet for months, leading industry members to demand the Government “pull its finger out” and press on with broadening the horizons of Britain’s space plans.
In March, the collapse of OneWeb came as a blow to the industry. The satellite firm, which is building a lowearth-orbit system, has since become the subject of a rescue bid by the British government.