Stevenage 75: Airbus reflects on previous and appears to be into long run

With businesses like Airbus actually embedded in Stevenage’s loaded background, the groundbreaking aerospace enterprise has assisted shape this spot as a hub for chopping-edge know-how, both on earth and in outer space.

Forward-searching and futuristic, the defence and room huge – which has named Stevenage residence for a lot more than six a long time – is notorious both equally locally and even more afield for its do the job in professional aircraft, helicopters, defence and house.

Notably, around 25 for each cent of all the world’s geo telecoms satellites get started their everyday living suitable here in Stevenage, right before orbiting at eye-watering altitudes above the restrict of our ambiance.





The Aeolus satellite make at Airbus in Stevenage, which released into space in August 2018

– Credit history: Max Alexander/Airbus

Geo telecoms satellites do all the things from immediate to residence Tv set broadcasting to transmitting news protection across the entire world, as properly as connecting plane and ships on the transfer – and supplying WiFi connectivity to plane. And most of the brains, constructions and designs are engineered out of the Gunnels Wooden Street facility.


Robotics systems engineers Matt Lisle and Yvonne Pickering show Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left)

Robotics units engineers showing PM Boris Johnson one particular of 3 prototype technique testbed Mars rovers, for the duration of a take a look at to Airbus in Stevenage earlier this thirty day period
– Credit rating: PA

Hailing our town as the “Cape Canaveral of the UK’s space market” and “one of the unsung achievement stories of British isles science and engineering”, Key Minister Boris Johnson highlighted the pivotal part of the town in trying to keep us harmless, encouraging curiosity and innovating new  entire world-primary systems when he frequented Airbus’ Stevenage property before this month.


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Richard Franklin, running director of Airbus Defence and Area in the United kingdom, paid out tribute to the marriage Airbus has with Stevenage and its bordering cities, and what a monumental effects every single has experienced on the other, and the prospect of that relationship continuing.


Airbus’ Solar Orbiter in the final stages of integration in Stevenage


Airbus’ Photo voltaic Orbiter in the remaining stages of integration in Stevenage

– Credit score: Airbus

He said: “Stevenage has performed a major position in the development and achievement of Britain’s area sector. From the early times of place exploration with the advancement and manufacture of the Blue Streak rockets in the 1950s, to the groundbreaking geostationary satellites made in the late 1960s, to today’s remarkable satellites and spacecraft – every little thing from Biomass which will measure the world’s forest from space to the ExoMars rover which is due to start to the Crimson Earth future calendar year.”


Bruno, the ExoMars Rover prototype, on the Mars test area at Airbus Defence and Space in Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage


Bruno, the ExoMars Rover prototype, on the Mars check location at Airbus Defence and Place in Gunnels Wood Street, Stevenage

– Credit score: Airbus


Bio-Clean room at Airbus Defence and Space's Stevenage facility, where they built the ExoMars Rover - named Rosalind Franklin


Bio-Clear room at Airbus Defence and Space’s Stevenage facility, exactly where building perform on the ExoMars Rover – named Rosalind Franklin, which is due to launch up coming year – took put

– Credit history: Max Alexander/Airbus


A biomass satellite at Airbus Defence and Space's Stevenage campus


A biomass satellite at Airbus Defence and Space’s Stevenage campus

– Credit history: Airbus

“We have virtually 1,500 persons functioning in our area business in Stevenage, some of the most proficient and technically gifted people today in the nation. It is their knowledge and determination that has given us our globe foremost placement and aided us earn significant contracts, this kind of as the European Area Agency mission Photo voltaic Orbiter that introduced previous yr and will consider the closest shots at any time of the Sun and assist us realize far more about solar physics.

“Stevenage is also a centre of excellence for geo-telecoms satellites that orbit Earth at 36,000 kilometres and give us live images from the Olympics or news reviews from wherever in the world, they even use telecoms satellites for the National Lottery!


Space Craft Assembly Hall (SAH) Andromeda Clean Room Stevenage.


The Area Craft Assembly Corridor Andromeda Cleanse Room at Airbus Stevenage

– Credit: Emma Underwood

“For Stevenage to be the centre of the UK’s main place pursuits has taken long term expenditure and determination – as well as the complete crew functioning alongside one another whichever is thrown at us. Having the Key Minister open our new £35 million headquarters was great recognition that we are dwelling to globe top functionality and experience.

“We have been in Stevenage for far more than 70 yrs, our manufacturing facility originally created plane space pieces, and with enjoyable assignments coming up this sort of as the Sample Fetch Rover that will help convey samples again from Mars, and the UK’s long term Skynet 6A navy communications satellite we intend to be in this article and expanding for lots of yrs to come.


The Skynet 4 at Airbus Stevenage


The Skynet 4 at Airbus Stevenage

– Credit score: Airbus

“A terrific example of this is our STEM Discovery Centre – a partnership with North Herts University and Herts LEP, wherever students occur for interactive sessions to inspire them into science and engineering occupations. Considering the fact that being opened by astronaut Tim Peake in 2017, it is approximated that extra than 27,000 essential phase 2 students will have visited by 2022 with a lot of acquiring noticed the ExoMars rover prototypes in motion in our Mars garden.”

And Airbus’ shining portfolio of exports from its Stevenage hub – playing key roles in higher profile room programmes including the Rosetta comet chaser and Venus Specific – sets a significant bar for what’s to appear paving the way for a dazzling upcoming for innovation, and for Stevenage.


Assembly of the Airbus Eurostar Neo at the defence and space company's Stevenage hub on Gunnels Wood Road


Assembly of the Airbus Eurostar Neo at the defence and space company’s Stevenage hub on Gunnels Wooden Highway

– Credit: Airbus