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UK Queen signs bill that will propel Britain into the space race

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-03-17 01:33

LONDON - A new law which will enable the first commercial space launch in history from British soil has been signed by Queen Elizabeth on Thursday.

The Space Industry Bill, which will unlock an exciting era of British space innovation, exploration and investment, was granted royal assent by the British monarch who was born years before even jet planes took to the skies.

The signing of the bill Thursday, described by the British government as the most modern piece of space industry legislation anywhere in the world, means businesses will soon be able to compete in the commercial space race using UK spaceports.

The government believes it will create the potential for hundreds of highly-skilled jobs and bringing in billions of dollars for the economy.

"This will not only ensure Britain is capable of launching small satellites and scientific experiments from our own soil, but also able to take advantage of future developments like hypersonic flight and high-speed point to point transport," said a joint statement from the Department for Transport, UK Space Agency, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

"Access to space will allow companies to deploy satellites as well, making the UK a one-stop shop for satellites services and the best place in Europe to start and grow a space business," the statement added.

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