Spain launches space agency for local startups

Spain has officially launched its national space agency, as Europe seeks to establish itself as a leader in the global space industry.

Plans for the Spanish space agency, or The Agencia Espacial Española (AEE), first announced in May 2021, finally received political approval last month.

The agency will be based in Seville near the Arenosillo launch facility in Huelva, which was built in the 1960s as part of a partnership between the Spanish government and NASA. Initially, around 75 personnel will be deployed on site.

The agency will serve to “guarantee Spain’s strategic actions in the field of space, both in terms of its technological development and the use of space in areas such as security, Earth observation, geospatial positioning and telecommunications”. statement by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

“Space is a priority and strategic field that is important to help and protect our society in areas as diverse as cyber security, navigation, combating climate change or monitoring phenomena such as drought or fires,” the statement said.

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M:Diana Morant, Minister of Science and Innovation, allocated more than the initial budget to the new agency. €700 million in 2023.

The minister also did €:45m is available to fund the development of a household micro-starter. A launch vehicle of this class, Morant said, is “the commercial future of space.”

Currently the most likely candidate for funding PLD space. It was founded in 2011. the Spanish startup has developed a suborbital microlauncherNamed Miura 1, it will be capable of delivering commercial cargo to and from space. It is expected to launch as early as this month.

Spain has a long history of space industry. It is a founding member of the European Space Agency (ESA) and has a thriving space technology ecosystem. As of 2019, 400+ 12% of total investors in the global private space industry, called “new space”, were based in Spain.

In addition to the flagship PLD Space, startups to watch include those in Barcelona Zero 2 Infinitywhich developed a balloon launcher in Madrid ienai GO:, a software provider for the space industry and in Bilbao SATLANTISwhich develops AI-enabled payloads for microsatellites.

The launch of the Spanish space agency is undoubtedly a big boost for these startups and the country’s space technology industry as a whole, and comes. as Europe seeks to catch up with the US, Russia and China in the global space race.

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