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Goonhilly Set for Global Expansion After $33M Investment

By Adrienne Harebottle | May 14, 2018
Antennas at the Goonhilly Earth Station's satellite communications teleport.

Antennas at the Goonhilly Earth Station’s satellite communications teleport. Photo Credit: Goonhilly

Following its recent 8.4 million pounds ($11.4 million) contract win from the European Space Agency (ESA), Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) has secured its second phase investment of 24 million pounds ($32.6 million).  U.K. businessman Peter Hargreaves, founder of finance and investment services company Hargreaves Lansdown, is investing the money, taking a stake in GES in Cornwall, England, which has been a privately held company founded by technology entrepreneur Ian Jones since 2014.

Since acquiring the facility from BT, GES has invested 5 million pounds ($6.8 million) in comprehensively rejuvenating the site. As a result of this modernization, Goonhilly has seen a major resurgence and has driven many new-era space exploration and commercial communications projects forward for a wide diversity of customers.

Goonhilly now provides spacecraft tracking and monitoring services to many of the world’s largest satellite operators. The company’s recent contract with ESA will see it become the first private operator in the global Deep Space communication network. The new private investment will allow it to expand further to create its own fully independent, global Deep Space Network, according to the company.

Working with Surrey Satellite Technology and ESA, the company plans a privately funded mission to the Moon, providing communication relay and navigation services to other lunar missions.

Goonhilly is also a key part of the U.K.’s ambitions to site Europe’s first Spaceport at Cornwall’s Newquay airport. If successful, Goonhilly would provide tracking and mission control services to a broad range of participants in the emerging Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite economy.