Investment boost for Scottish space

Surrey satellite firm secures £25m China contract

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) signed a £25m contract in Beijing last week after joining Theresa May on her official state visit to China.

Surrey’s SSTL has signed a lucrative contract with Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology Co (21AT) to provide data from a new Earth Observation satellite (SSTL-S1) due for launch in the middle of this year.

The contract was signed by Sir Martin Sweeting, executive chairman of SSTL, and Mme Wu Shuang, president and chairman of 21AT, and witnessed by the UK secretary of state, Dr Liam Fox.

As the manufacturer and owner of the SSTL-S1 satellite, SSTL will lease imaging payload capacity to 21AT for the lifetime of the satellite, designed to be in excess of seven years.

The SSTL-S1 satellite will contribute sub-one metre resolution image data into 21AT’s existing TripleSat Constellation service, comprising three SSTL DMC3 satellites launched in 2015.

Sir Sweeting said: “I am delighted to be here today to sign another contract that extends SSTL’s 15-year long-term UK-China partnership with 21AT and consolidates the success of the TripleSat Constellation service.

“Adding capacity to the Constellation with a new satellite demonstrates the high fidelity of the imagery and the success of 21AT’s business model.”