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House: ambitious space plan unveiled

Bermuda aims to tap into the lucrative space industry under a plan announced by the Deputy Premier today.

Walter Roban unveiled the five-year Bermuda National Space Strategy put together by a team of local and international experts.

Mr Roban told the House of Assembly: “The strategy sets out a vision of developing a space industry as a vital part of Bermuda's efforts to grow and diversify its economy, noting expected growth of the global industry from a present value of $350 billion to over a trillion dollars by 2040.

“We intend to position Bermuda to participate in that trillion-dollar industry by offering services over a broad range of areas.”

The strategy's aims include:

• build Bermuda's reputation as a responsible, leading jurisdiction for space and satellite-related business

• enhance domestic space and satellite-related capabilities

• further integrate Bermuda with the international space community

• generate revenue from the island's four national orbital allotments.

Mr Roban, the home affairs minister, said: “Space has never been more exciting and promising, for Bermuda and for the world.

“The space industry is undergoing a revolution. Once the exclusive domain of national governments, space is increasingly accessible to private companies with capital and big ideas.

“Today, technology is sufficiently advanced to enable new commercial activities in space which seemed like science fiction only a short time ago. Entrepreneurs are building rockets to take humans to Mars, preparing to launch hundreds — and in some cases, thousands — of small satellites into orbit to provide ubiquitous internet on Earth, and taking high-resolution photos of our planet with increasing frequency.”

The strategy also identifies “priority industry areas” for Bermuda in satellite communications, remote sensing and earth observation, space insurance, space situational awareness and debris monitoring, on-orbit servicing and asteroid mining.

Bermuda provided launch tracking support from Cooper's Island for the high-profile SpaceX rocket launch last week, in which two Nasa astronauts were sent into orbit from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

Mr Roban added: “We are aware of further launches planned in the near future.”

The Space and Satellite Policy Advisory Panel, which produced the strategy, includes leading figures from Marsh Space Projects, Space Partnership International, Pacific Dataport, MIT Media Lab, EchoStar, Bermuda Business Development Agency, SES Satellites and SES Video.

The Bermuda National Space Strategy will be made available on www.gov.bm and space.gov.bm.

To read Walter Roban's ministerial statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”

SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida (File photograph)

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Published June 05, 2020 at 2:53 pm (Updated January 26, 2021 at 12:59 am)

House: ambitious space plan unveiled

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