A Chelmsford tech firm worth £620 million has revealed their part in an international space programme to detect earth-like planets.
Teledyne e2v, the city’s largest non-government employer based in Waterhouse Road, is set to provide imaging sensors to the PLATO programme (Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars), which aims to put 26 telescopes into space by 2026 to identify planets with conditions to home extra-terrestrial life.
The UK Space Agency is investing £25 million into the European Space Agency’s project.
Space imaging president Dr Miles Adcock told Essex Live that he hopes that securing this contract will help continue the growth of not only the UK space industry, but also the local economy.
Dr Adcock said: “Being a part of this project is really amazing – the overall aim is to identify thousands of earth-like planets where mankind might populate.”
The technology firm was sold to US conglomerate Teledyne Technologies in March this year, and Dr Adcock believes that being part of a large corporation will strengthen the business further.
“The takeover is a fantastic thing for Chelmsford – we are now part of a massive company with links to the rest of the world,” he continued.
“It means we can share ideas and have access to each other’s customers.”
READ MORE: Chelmsford’s Teledyne e2v helping to create record-breaking telescope the size of Rome’s Colosseum
The firm had announced in June that 50 jobs were put at risk with plans to save the company £2 million through redundancies.
Of the 50, 28 employees lost their jobs as part of a company restructure to combat last financial year’s loss but Dr Adcock believes the firm are in a positive position for the future.
Dr Adcock added: “In the grand scheme of things, losing 28 members of staff was not a major issue – for a good number we were able to come to a good agreement.
“In the meantime, the Queen’s Speech commitment to investing in the space industry is really positive for us, and we are recruiting in September.”
The firm also runs an apprenticeship programme, where applicants have the opportunity to undertake a degree course as part of their time with the firm.
Josh Limbachia, 20, is in his second year of study at the Chelmsford site.
The engineering apprentice said: “I had the option to go to university but I turned down my offers to come here.
“I am getting my degree paid for by the company, getting first-hand experience of the industry and also influencing decisions in the company which is great.”
Source: Essex Live