UK space industry continues to grow in journey to Mars, driving skills demand in defence and STEM
Joel Forrester

3 minutes

UK space industry continues to grow in journey to Mars, driving skills demand in defence and STEM

A new scientific instrument built in Wales will lead the search for life on Mars at the end of this decade. The new instrument – named Enfys - is an infrared spectrometer due to be assembled at Aberystwyth University. It will be fitted to the European Space Agency's Rosalind Franklin rover, which will start its journey to Mars in 2028. 

The development cost of £10.7m ($13.4m) is due to be announced by science minister Andrew Griffith at the UK Space Conference in Belfast on Thursday. 

The new Mars rover, Rosalind Franklin, is designed to do something completely new, to drill and retrieve rock samples from more than a metre underground. It is thought any evidence of present or past life will be found beneath the planet's surface.  

Aberystwyth University will be assisted on the new build by the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at University College London, STFC RAL Space in Harwell, Oxfordshire, and Qioptiq Ltd in St Asaph, Denbighshire. 

Joel Forrester, Client Solutions Director, UK & Europe at Guidant Global states "It is incredibly exciting to see such pioneering spirit from a UK based brand, leading the charge in innovation on a Global scale. 

Their contribution to the defence and space sector, through this achievement, is a true statement to the relentless pursuit of progress and ingenuity born from the British Isles.” 

There’s a wealth of opportunities in the Aerospace and Defence sector. Guidant Global’s recent survey, carried out in partnership with Defence Online, asked respondents from across the Defence sector for their input into what is affecting and influencing talent in the industry.  

The resulting report demonstrated that where many of the UK’s core industries continuing to experience prolonged talent shortages, the Defence sector is no exception. Challenges include competition for STEM talent, a generation of skilled workers set to retire in the next decade, and a lack of diversity and inclusion. 

Download the full report to access the latest insight into talent within the defence sector and explore:  

  • The implications of STEM shortages on the Defence sector and what can be done about it
  • Opportunities to diversify the defence supply chain 
  • Diversity and inclusion in the sector 
  • The role of contingent labour in the sector  

 Click here to access the free-to-download survey report today. 

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