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UK launches its new space agency

The new logo of the UK Space Agency. A BNSC Photo.

LONDON (BNS): United Kingdom on Tuesday formally announced the establishment of its own national space agency.

The UK Space Agency (UKSA), which comes into being on April 1, 2010, will take control of costs allocated to government and research institutes in the space explorations.

The aim and objective of UKSA is to offer a launch facility to space exploration and satellite industry worldwide. The space agency will thus bring together all UK civil space activities under one single management.

"The UK Space Agency will give the sector the muscle it needs to fulfill its ambition. Britainís space industry has defied the recession. It can grow to £40bn a year and create 100,000 jobs in 20 years," said Lord Drayson Science and Innovation Minister.

The UK Space Agency will take over responsibility for BIS policy and key Government budgets for space. This will start with the ESA subscriptions currently funded by NERC, STFC and TSB and subsequently managing UK interests in EU projects including the space component of GMES, and Galileo.

UKSA will manage the UKís financial interest in the EU Satellite Centre, which is currently the responsibility of the MOD. The Agency will also begin to take responsibility for space funding for technology and instruments currently carried out by the Research Councils and TSB. It will thus negotiate on the UKís behalf on international bodies, according to a British National Space Centre news release.

The new body will replace the British National Space Centre (BNSC).

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