Press Release

Flags Are Raised at ESA’s First UK Centre

By SpaceRef Editor
July 9, 2015
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Jan Woerner, ESA Director General, and Jo Johnson, UK Minister of State for Universities and Science, today watched ESA Member States’ flags rise for the first time at the Agency’s first centre in the UK. 

Two hundred space leaders from the public and private spheres came to ESA’s European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) on the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, joined by the first ESA Director General, Roy Gibson, after whom the new building is named.

They also celebrated the opening of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory’s Space Development and Test Facility on the campus.


ESA’s first British astronaut, Tim Peake, took part in the celebrations via Skype from Star City in Russia, where he is training for his mission to the International Space Station in December.

The event highlighted how space and space industry contribute to the economy. Space is an investment in the future. Success stories from entrepreneurs and the signing of the Quantum telecom satellite contract highlighted the recent expansion of ESA and the Science & Technology Facilities Council at Harwell Campus, in itself a growing international hub of space, science and business.

As ESA’s centre in the UK, ECSAT focuses on telecom and satcom services – the largest, fastest-growing and most profitable of all space activities. Harwell Campus is one of the biggest and most diverse science and technology campuses in the world and is also growing at an impressive rate. This is underlined by ECSAT’s new Roy Gibson building, which was built to house the sharp increase in ESA personnel in the UK.


SpaceRef staff editor.