UK seeks space technology for pandemic solution

The UK government has joined forces with the European Space Agency (ESA) to equip the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) with more effective technological tools and services in the fight against the coronavirus. (FILES)

The UK government has joined forces with the European Space Agency (ESA) to equip the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) with more effective technological tools and services in the fight against the coronavirus.

The British Minister of Science, Amanda Solloway, today reported in a statement that London will allocate 2.6 million pounds (2.98 million euros) for this project, in which the British Space Agency and ESA will collaborate.

A number of universities and companies from various sectors will also participate, to develop equipment and technology inspired by space solutions, from sanitizing gels to ventilators, explained Soloway.

“The UK space sector is a world leader in the application of satellite technology and data collection to address challenges facing Earth, such as responding to natural disasters or managing infectious disease outbreaks,” the minister said.

The director of the European Space Telecommunications and Applications Center of ESA, Nick Appleyard, cautioned that the “current state of affairs” presents “challenges for” the business space community.

“You can show how much you can offer to help us deal with an event like this, which only happens once in a century,” said the person in charge of the ESA facility at Harwell, in the county of Oxfordshire, England.

“Even under normal circumstances – concludes Appleyard-, satellite and space technology offer solutions to our needs for connectivity and inclusion, in resilience and logistics, and to support medical care administration in the most extreme situations.”

Roderick Gilbert

"Entrepreneur. Internet fanatic. Certified zombie scholar. Friendly troublemaker. Bacon expert."

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