It may not have exactly been the final frontier.
But the island’s Lieutenant Governor Sir Richard Gozney has been given an insight into the fast-moving world of the space industry.
He toured ManSat’s new Fort Anne offices in Douglas to find out more about the thriving operation and meet staff from all areas of the business.
And the ManSat team were clearly impressed with His Excellency’s knowledge of space.
Sir Richard was guided on his visit by group chief executive Chris Stott and chief financial officer John Sheath who said: ’It was an absolute pleasure to welcome His Excellency as our first official visitor to our new offices.
’Sir Richard was clearly interested in the operational aspect of our business and how ManSat continues to grow and adapt to innovations in the industry.
’I was especially impressed by his subject knowledge and understanding of the satellite industry, almost eclipsing my own!
’We had a thoroughly enjoyable time and, as His Excellency has demonstrated time and time again, he is deeply committed to our island and its workings, taking the time to understand how it operates and what makes it tick.
’All our staff enjoyed meeting him and telling him about the work we carry out and it was a great opportunity for them to demonstrate their enthusiasm.
’Everyone appreciated the interest Sir Richard showed.’
Established in May 1998, ManSat has helped spearhead the island as one of the leading space jurisdictions in the world.
It carries out satellite filings under a contract with the Isle of Man Government’s Communications Commission and runs a number of annual initiatives.
The company awards Fellowship grants for Manx students seeking to further their studies in space, and scholarships to attend programmes run by the International Space University in Strasbourg.
Each summer, local students spend two weeks at the Space School in Houston, Texas, working alongside peers from around the globe, with the aim of planning a simulated crewed mission to Mars, alongside support from NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists.
ManSat also supports Manx entries to the annual Conrad Challenge, in co-operation with Apollo Astronaut Pete Conrad’s Foundation, and has sponsored Manx high schools to participate in the UK Rocketry Challenge.
The many subjects which came up included the Apollo 50th anniversary, the complexities of satellite filing, orbital issues and a variety of satellite related matters.
Chief financial officer John Sheath was appointed to the role last year as part of the company’s plan for international growth. This is all tied in with the company’s move to Fort Anne on Head Road, Douglas, having relocated from Athol Street. He said: ’I am delighted to be taking my knowledge of this sector to even deeper levels, getting to grips with the intricacies of satellite licensing.
’Although the ManSat team is spread over different continents, it works really well together.’