Lift off for UK space industry as Space Industry Bill receives Royal Assent

The Space Industry Bill today received Royal Assent, bringing commercial space flight from UK spaceports one giant leap closer to reality.

The new law will allow for the licensing of a wide range of spaceflight activities in the UK, including vertically launched rockets, spaceplanes, satellite operations, spaceports and other technologies.

It also sets out a regulatory framework to ensure that commercial spaceflight in the UK remains safe.

Mark Nisbett, a space industry specialist in RSM’s technology sector team said: ‘This is fantastic news for the UK’s space industry. The sector is already worth £13.7bn and the target is to increase this to £40bn by 2030. 

‘The market for small satellite launch and sub-orbital flight alone could be worth more than £25bn globally over the next 20 years. There is a real opportunity for the UK to further establish itself as a global leader in the commercial space industry which could provide a significant boost to the UK economy.

‘The new law will open up new opportunities for growth, encourage the creation of thousands of jobs and along with Space flights from UK spaceports will inspire the next generation of British scientists and engineers.

‘Today’s announcement was complemented by the news that the government is pressing ahead with its Space for Smarter Government programme which is demonstrating the potential of using satellite technology to provide solutions to environmental and sustainable development challenges. We can expect many similar initiatives from the private sector as more businesses explore the commercial opportunities of small satellite technology.’