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UK Space Agency Commits Funding for Snowdonia Space Centre in Wales

By Mark Holmes | December 6, 2023

The location for the Snowdonia Space Centre in Wales.

The UK Space Agency (UKSA) has allocated 820,000 pounds ($1.03 million) to support the development of a new Space Technology Test Centre (STTC) in Wales. The Snowdonia Space Centre secured this funding under the Agencies Space Clusters Infrastructure Fund. The Snowdonia Space Centre will develop the STTC, in partnership with Newton Launch Systems at the former Llanbedr Airfield in Wales.

The Centre has a unique location near Cardigan Bay that will allow it to provide a flight test range for rocket-powered test vehicles, near-space scientific flights, microgravity research and trials of re-entry vehicles and payload recovery systems. The test range will be complemented by a space technology testing laboratory featuring a centrifuge, thermal vacuum chamber, vibration table, aerostructures rig and a rocket engine test stand.

The proposed STTC will be made available to U.K. organizations to develop, test and qualify space technology and products in advance of commercial exploitation and to host training events supporting the U.K. skills base. The project is a 15-month project scheduled to be completed by March 2025.

“The Snowdonia STTC will serve the needs of the U.K. launch supply chain, particularly the large number of SME’s and academia whose technical progress is constrained by the acknowledged lack of affordable and timely access to test facilities across the U.K. The STTC will increase the capability, capacity and geographical connectivity of UK Space RDT&E infrastructure and help this community accelerate the development of their products and services from proof-of-concept through to commercial exploitation and make a lasting and valuable contribution to the wider UK economy,” Jeremy Howitt of the Space Centre said in a statement.