David Willetts was appointed to the UK Government Cabinet Office as Minister of Science and Universities in 2010 and during his tenure, which came to an end in 2014, he was a strong supporter of the UK space sector and visited SSTL on numerous occasions. In August of this year David Willetts was nominated for a life peerage in the House of Lords.
Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of SSTL, commented on the appointment of Mr Willetts to SSTL’s Board, saying “David has long been an advocate of British science and technology excellence, and a tireless ambassador for promoting and encouraging the growth of the UK space sector. We are delighted that he has accepted the appointment to our Board, and we believe that David’s breadth of experience in the fields of education and science will be beneficial to SSTL’s strategic goals and our focus on innovative solutions to space-based applications.”
David Willetts views his new appointment with enthusiasm, stating “I enjoyed working with the British space industry during my time as Science Minister and am delighted to be taking up this post with SSTL, one of our innovative world leading space companies.”
In February SSTL appointed Patrick Wood as Group Managing Director, and in May unveiled its new Spacecraft Operations Centre at its Guildford Headquarters site. In June SSTL celebrated its 30th anniversary, and in July the Company secured its first geostationary satellite platform contract, and launched the DMC3/TripleSat Constellation of 1 metre Earth Observation satellites, together with Carbonite-1, a micro-satellite mission to demonstrate new Earth Observation technologies, including HD video from orbit.