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Scotland presents ambitious space strategy and action plan

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Edinburgh, 21 October 2021. – Scotland wants to grow its share of the global space market and launched a new space strategy at the Expo 2020 Dubai yesterday.

The strategy aims to make Scotland an end-to-end space system provider. 

Scotland’s space sector is currently specialised in satellite and rocket manufacturing, launch facilities and research and data analysis. Since 2016, the number of space businesses has increased by over 65% in the country. More than twice as many people work in the sector in Scotland as in the rest of the UK. The action plan is to develop a network of satellite launch sites, pursue green technologies and build on these existing strengths, the Scottish Government said. 

The program aims to position Scotland as a global leader for commercial space developments and establish a range of launch and orbital services. It also aspires to develop a world-leading environmental strategy by reducing emissions and using satellite data for environmental monitoring. Another objective of the policy is to enhance Scotland’s international economic opportunities through increased exports. 

The government said they wanted to “deliver a dedicated launch capability as early as next year and create 20,000 jobs in the sector by 2030.” They are to broaden diversity, increase sustainability, inward investment, and enhance education of the next generation of space industry workers. 

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Say YES to diversity and gender equality in the space sector: a look at the Diversity and Gender Equality Project Group of the SGAC

Diversity is difficult to measure and quantify, given all the aspects and shapes it takes, yet it is easy to witness and observe the lack of it in many fields including the space sector. If the space sector and all its disciplines should be used to help improve life on earth and observe it (amongst other purposes), shouldn't it be represented by all terrestrial individuals equally? In an ideal world, yes! But history and social biases have prevented our progress towards this perfect world, and we find ourselves today with a space sector still dominated by cis white-male individuals.