Engineers with NASA experience assembled in Rotherham to support space missions

A TEAM of high-tech engineers — with experience at NASA — has been assembled in Rotherham to support UK space missions.

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre has formed AMRC/Space to help the Government’s post-Brexit ambitions.

The team has capabilities in precision machining and other new technologies like robotic welding and using virtual reality.

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Adrian Allen, AMRC co-founder and executive director, said: “It’s one small step for the AMRC to translate its experience in the aerospace, defence and nuclear sectors to the manufacturing needs of the space programme.

“Our current research supports some of the most demanding industries in the world where the precision engineering of safety-critical components is paramount.”

Among partner firms who have been central to space exploration are Boeing, who played a part in the first Mercury capsule and the International Space Station, and Airbus, who have been involved in Europe’s space endeavours for half a century.

AMRC executive director John Baragwanath said: “The new capability will be led by Craig Roberts whose team has a brilliant track record of innovation in space technology, with one of his team only recently returned from NASA following his discovery of a patent pending additive manufacturing technology that the agency is keen to progress.

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“The Sheffield City Region now has a cluster of high value, high technology engineering companies with an interest in, and the ambition to support, the Government’s vision for the space industry post-Brexit. 

“The formation of AMRC/Space gives the region the opportunity to attract new investors at the forefront of smart technologies, consolidating our reputation as a global centre of excellence for high-value, manufacturing based on high quality research and innovation.”

The launch of AMRC/Space follows the Government’s announcement of space ports in Scotland and Cornwall to meet launch demand estimated to be worth a potential £3.8 billion to the UK economy over the next decade.

Business secretary Greg Clark said: “This will build on our global reputation for manufacturing small satellites and help the whole country capitalise on the huge potential of the commercial space age.”

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