Business secretary Vince Cable in Stevenage to launch Mars mission

Vince Cable at the Airbus Defence and Space's Mars Yard facility

Vince Cable at the Airbus Defence and Space's Mars Yard facility - Credit: Archant

Business secretary Vince Cable visited Comet country today (Thursday).

Vince Cable speaking at the Airbus Defence and Space centre in Stevenage

Vince Cable speaking at the Airbus Defence and Space centre in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

The minister joined UK Space Agency chief executive officer David Parker at the Airbus Defence and Space centre in Stevenage.

Together they unveiled an extension of the company’s ‘Mars Yard’ – a 30m recreation of the red planet’s surface designed to test new technology for future space exploration.

Mr Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “The technology being developed here, in Stevenage, is at the forefront of global innovation and can be applied to various sectors of our economy.

“One of the battles that we’re fighting is demonstrating the importance of science and technology for the future. We are trying to excite the next generation to pursue careers in this field.

“We’re massively under-supplied with science graduates so I think it is important to acknowledge the great work that is happening here.”

Airbus, formerly known as Astrium, will use the site to test rovers for the planned 2018 mission to Mars working with the European Space Agency.

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