Sunday, April 25, 2004
Not So Hot

One of the recent reports, issued by the British National Space Centre, concentrated upon the private-sector expolitation of space industries in the United Kingdom. They surveyed 222 companies, in order to provide a snapshot of these activities.

An article in the Grauniad represented the report as 'positive news', with increasing profits, turnover and employment. However, the report distinguished between "upstream" and "downstream" activities, which correspond to throwing things up into orbit (satellite manufacturing) as opposed to relying upon things already up there (telecommunications).

The British space industry is a service industry that is bolstered by niche manuafacturing, continuing the tradition of craft industries in this hi-tech era. However, these do not contribute to Britain's military or commercial exploitation of the high frontier. This counts as a strategic weakness.

(20.01, 25th April 2004)


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