Athena: A Boost to the UK Space Industry

Posted by Ellie on March 19th, 2021

Kevin Creaven, Serco Chief Executive UK and Europe, remarked: 


"I'm enchanted to present Athena as an energizing new group that will convey upgraded space-based innovations and administrations from the UK. Athena will help British capacities, just as the economy, through development in this quick, creating area. The dispatch of Athena likewise guarantees variety and decision in the UK space area for future manageable turn of events." 

With vertical dispatches soon to occur from UK soil, the country's now expanding space area is presently a captivating domain of speculation and improvement for all included. Furthermore, to get a lot of the market, a few organizations decide to assemble collusions and acquire impact on the circle. 

Who Is in the Consortium? 


UK-local Serco is one of the world's biggest taxpayer supported organizations/public area firms. It comprises of more than 50,000 representatives, covering around 500 agreements in the domains of transport, wellbeing, and protection to give some examples. 

Serco has been working with the ESA since its creation, which means the firm has many years of involvement with supporting government space projects, just as providing driving administrations and contributions for different organizations in the area. Remarkably, Serco has upheld Earth perception and galactic space missions, covering constant satellite activities among different accomplishments of industry. 

Serco gives off an impression of being playing the lead job in the Athena consortium; it features across a few public statements that Serco was the organization to "proclaim" the going with colleagues. As a component of the UK's Skynet 5, an immense UK MoD satellite-interchanges project, Serco is a significant subcontractor, a place of which Athena will doubtlessly profit by. 

A danger appraisal from the 2017 Paradise Papers portrayed the firm as a "high-hazard" customer, with a "background marked by issues, disappointments, deadly mistakes and cheating". For instance, a new issue in 2019 expense the firm a fine of nearly £20 million, for misrepresentation and bogus bookkeeping answering to the Ministry of Justice. 



English satellite media communications firm Inmarsat is the one that has a lively history in satellite correspondence innovations. Offering worldwide portable types of assistance, the firm claims and works 14 satellites in circle for 3 of the world's chief organizations, also called the Global Xpress (GX) satellite group of stars. 

As of late, Inmarsat has conveyed well beyond, as per numerous industry spectators. Despite a worldwide pandemic and financial vulnerability, the firm actually pushes ahead with plans to grow the GX group of stars by five additional satellites. 

As a component of Athena, it very well may be expected that the firm will be utilized for its satellite armada and administrations as well as their broad arrangement of broadband, Internet of Things (IoT) and other imaginative contributions. 


Canadian-established firm CGI is a global IT and business specialist co-op, utilizing about 76,00 individuals across 400 areas around the world. Among its collection of ability, the confident handles major enormous information projects and information preparing at public scales, eminently winning a few multi-million-dollar contracts in military, clinical and space areas. 

All the more explicitly, with regards to space, CGI has given ground-to-circle answers for satellites and satellite interchanges clients. This incorporates anything from government, safeguard and transport, to media, utilities and crisis administrations. The firm is known for conveying crucial space programming frameworks, utilizing front line innovation, science and ability in their tasks. 

In 2014 CGI's UK Space, Defense, and National Security division got an agreement to fabricate "center framework" for the Galileo Commercial Service, a vital venture in Europe's biggest satellite undertaking which went live in 2016. Albeit that was maybe only one critical advance, CGI gladly features that is has worked with the European space industry for quite a while, which incorporates the conveyance of an office that, at that point, controlled Galileo's 30 satellites. 

In ongoing news, CGI won an agreement by the European Space Agency (ESA) to apply computerized reasoning (AI) and AI advances to satellite interchanges, as a component of the ESA's desire for their Autonomous Satcom Solution program, which likewise incorporates association from the UK Space Agency (UKSA). 

While the job of CGI as a feature of Athena is yet to be completely nitty gritty openly, their experience and current contributions in satellite, AI and 5G advances will be up front going ahead. 

Lockheed Martin UK 

Maybe the most hostile expansion to the group, supporting somewhere in the range of 20,000 workers in the UK, the British arm of the biggest US military behemoth Lockheed Martin will unquestionably give designing, industry skill, and impact to Athena. 

While Lockheed is the world's biggest protection project worker, their significant client is the US government, with Department of Defense representing around a portion of organization's income. Then space projects take just 20% of organization's exercises and income. 

With an evident history traversing just about a century, Lockheed Martin UK, however basically a military administrations supplier, is one of the significant firms focused on building the primary ever business spaceport in the UK. Shockingly, en route, there have been responsibility issues from Lockheed Martin in the formation of the spaceports. 

Beforehand, Lockheed Martin worked with Orbex as the two got nearly million in awards to construct the Sutherland spaceport. It was until late 2020, two years into the task, that Lockheed Martin declared it would rather be moving its activities to another UK spaceport, the Shetland Space Center, due to contrasting "specialized necessities". 

Despite the fact that theoretical, the move came soon after the Athena consortium's declaration, and almost certainly, these issue were at that point moving before the authority development of Athena. 

Strikingly, satellite/space-explicit economic alliance between the US and UK are well in progress; in 2020 the U.S.- UK Technology Safeguards Agreement was marked, a way to smooth out the space and innovation supply chains between the two countries. Athena stands to profit massively from this arrangement, as the group is global, with solid connections to the US through Lockheed Martin and their accomplice for rocket improvement – a California-based ABL Space Systems. It appears to be that with such organizations and the TSA the cash for British public activities may land in American pockets. 

The UK is by and by making way for its first-historically speaking vertical rocket dispatch; upon the finish of various vertical and flat business spaceports, the UK will by and by be viewed as a space-faring country. These patterns are making Athena's appearance fairly convenient as long as they endeavor to cooperatively pull in development and venture to the UK space. Nonetheless, the entire circumstance may turn out less useful if consortium individuals expect to exploit the market and stay aware of the powerful changes inside the New Space industry under the sauce of joint activity. 

It isn't the most broadly known certainty, yet the UK is probably the biggest supporter of the global space industry than doubtlessly. Right now, the UK addresses a 6.5% portion of the worldwide space economy, and with the country now in post-Brexit, it appears like Athena is here to additional feature the fairly critical flashes of chance not too far off.


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