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UK Official Announces Expansion of Space Partnership With US Military

Jeff Brody

Penny Mordaunt, U.K. secretary of state for defense, said the U.K. government will send eight individuals to the U.S. in the next 18 months to support the Combined Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, SpaceNews reported Thursday. She announced at the Air and Space Power Conference 2019 in London that the British government will also team up with the U.S. on the Operation Olympic Defender, a program launched by U.S. Strategic Command in 2013 to build up deterrence against adversaries in space.

Mordaunt said the U.K. government plans to make a $34M investment to launch a constellation of small satellites in support of a transatlantic collaboration – Team Artemis – that hopes to conduct research into small satellites and their wider role in military operations. The report said the U.K. air force has partnered with Virgin Orbit to provide launch services for the small satellite program.

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