We’re pushing forward. To achieve even greater things than we have already.
To use our strength and proven capabilities in space technology to meet the challenges of today. And those of tomorrow.
To go the extra mile in pursuit of our goals. To defy frontiers.
To contribute more to UK industry, its technology base, and the economy as a whole.
To nurture and encourage the talented people who work for us now, and who might one day in the future.
To protect those in the defence and security services, who protect our democracy and our people.
To support the businesses that support us, no matter how large or small.
To do everything we can to help our customers fulfil their ambitions.
Airbus is pushing forward.
For those who are dedicated to the UK space ecosystem. 

 

As the largest space company in Europe and an integral part of the £17.5 billion UK space sector, we design and manufacture advanced satellites to deliver solutions on the ground from climate change monitoring to global communications.  Through the European Space Agency we lead international missions from the ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover vehicle which is set to autonomously navigate on the red planet to enabling scientists to get a closer look at our Sun than ever before with the Solar Orbiter.

Exomars

For those who want to connect

Airbus designs and manufactures approximately 25% of the world’s telecommunications satellites to ensure people stay connected. At Airbus UK we make the structure and propulsion systems, as well as the heart of the satellites, the payloads including our world leading digital processed payloads.

Geostationary telecommunication satellites can weigh up to 6 tonnes, and are used for everything from direct to home TV broadcasting to business to business communications as well as providing satellite communications on the move for armed forces personnel. All national satellite TV broadcasts across the UK are from  satellites built by Airbus.

Airbus Porstmouth

For those who see the Earth through a new lens 

Airbus’ Earth observation satellites give the world eyes in space, and we have produced many of the planet’s most sophisticated spacecraft of this kind. One example was the European Space Agency’s (ESA) wind sensing satellite Aeolus, which we built in Stevenage.  Aeolus, launched in 2018, was the first satellite to measure winds on a global scale from the ground to the stratosphere (30km) and has not only increased global wind monitoring but it has been vital in delivering wind measurements to metrological organisations during the COVID crisis as they usually rely on weather data collected in flight by aircraft. Aeolus was successfully de-orbited with the help of Airbus engineers in July 2023 ensuring the spacecraft did not pose any debris risk in Low Earth Orbit. 

We also conceived and produced the pollution monitoring satellite Sentinel 5P in the UK.  Its data is helping scientists monitor pollution levels around the world.

Airbus in Portsmouth is a recognised world leader in radar design and manufacture having built the instrument for the NovaSAR-1 Earth observation satellite launched in 2018. Radar satellites have a unique capability to capture imagery day or night and through clouds, enabling areas of interest to be closely monitored.

Airbus in Stevenage is building ESA’s Biomass satellite that will measure forest biomass to assess terrestrial carbon stocks and fluxes from 600km above the Earth. The spacecraft will carry the first space-borne P-band synthetic aperture radar, delivering exceptionally accurate maps of tropical, temperate and boreal forest biomass that are not obtainable by ground measurement techniques. 

Biomass

Airbus has been providing satellite imagery services, geo-intelligence data and imagery on demand for over 30 years to enable better decision making.  It uses its own unique fleet of optical and radar satellites to provide up to date data to users across the globe like utility companies, insurance professionals and governments: the data helps them provide solutions for people on the ground.

For those who explore 

We led the development of Europe’s first interplanetary rover vehicle, part of ExoMars, here in the UK.  The ESA mission vehicle, which is due to launch in 2028 was designed and built at Airbus in Stevenage. Our engineers developed autonomous navigation capabilities for the rover, named Rosalind Franklin, to enable it to move more quickly between sites when it lands on the Red Planet. 

We designed and built the flagship ESA mission Solar Orbiter which was launched in February 2020.  Solar Orbiter has already provided stunning images of the Sun and during its 10 year life it will be the closest camera ever sent to the Sun as well as the first spacecraft to orbit the Sun at the same speed as its gravitational rotation providing valuable data on the workings of our nearest star. The scientific mission LISA Pathfinder designed to test the concept of gravitational wave detection – which test Einstein’s theories and further understanding of the Big Bang – was also built by Airbus in the UK.

At Airbus we believe in the importance of sustainable space and were one of the first companies to successfully test technologies in-orbit to clear out space junk.  The active debris removal programme RemoveDEBRIS featured a revolutionary space harpoon designed and built by Airbus in Stevenage. 

Solar Orbiter

Airbus in the UK designed the ground control system for current Galileo navigation satellites and all the navigation payloads for the current Galileo spacecraft were built by the Airbus subsidiary, SSTL in Guildford.

For those who protect

Airbus is relied upon by the UK armed forces to ensure they remain connected wherever they are in the world. Airbus UK built the Ministry of Defence’s military communications satellite fleet Skynet 5.  This provides the country’s armed forces with secure global military satellite communications capability for mobile voice, video, internet and broadcast communications – including providing a vital link with their families and friends while on operations. Airbus operated the Skynet 5 services for the UK MOD for more than 18 years and also provided milsatcoms to allied military and government users beyond the UK, including NATO. In short, Airbus in the UK is recognised as a trusted UK provider of military space capability.

Skynet 6A

For the UK space ecosystem 

Airbus Space and Defence currently works with over 1000 SMEs from every corner of the UK, combining their offering with our capabilities to challenge what’s possible. Airbus has launched the Community for Space Prosperity (CUSP) programme in the UK to continue to help grow the UK space eco-system and support the Government’s space ambitions. CUSP is focusing on nurturing talent, further developing the broader UK space eco-system including improving access to the supply chain, access to finance, and growing the UK as a Science Superpower.

Airbus space catalyst impression

Airbus spends £500m within the UK space industry supply chain, of which £100m goes to SMEs. Our open minded, open-for-business approach is supporting the wider community and providing the foundations and support for continuing prosperity in the wider space ecosystem.

Stevenage

For the next generation 

With our outreach initiatives coupled with our graduate and apprenticeship programmes, we are working to inspire and develop the next generation of British scientists, technicians and engineers. The centre piece of this effort is the STEM Discovery Centre in Stevenage which has welcomed more than 40,000 visitors since it was opened in 2017 by British ESA astronaut Tim Peake . It features a range of interactive exhibits including the Mars Yard.  


 

Airbus Space Accelerator: Igniting Innovation in the UK Space Sector

Attention Tech Trailblazers, Academic Pioneers, and SME Innovators!

Join the Airbus Space Accelerator programme and propel your technology start-up, academic research, or SME venture into the forefront of the UK space sector. Benefit from expert mentorship, tailored product development support, and access to Airbus Defence and Space engineering expertise. This twelve-week intensive initiative, a blend of in-person and virtual activities, aims to accelerate breakthrough products in hardware and software technologies with potential space applications. Join us in shaping the future of space exploration!

Airbus Space Accelerator