Your chance to blast off into space

Terry McManus
Terry McManus

AN electrical firm which supplies cables for the space industry will reveal how businesses can take advantage of that market at a conference next month.

Sedgefield will be the setting for the conference called Spacetech which will be led by experts from Staffordshire firm Cryogenic Systems, on Thursday, February 9.

Cryogenic has been supplying cabling solutions for the space industry for 12 years and recently won the contract to provide wiring harnesses for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is about one million miles from Earth.

The complex harnessing for the telescope has been designed to withstand temperatures of minus 273C as it orbits Earth and the massive launch force it faces when it blasts off in 2013.

Terry McManus, JWST project manager, will speak at the conference to give advice for businesses, including looking at marketing strategy and the pitfalls to avoid when bidding for lucrative contracts.

The conference will also look at new developments and opportunities in the space industry.

Spacetech, which lasts from 8.30am to 3pm, has been organised by the County Durham Development Company (CDDC) which is the business arm of Durham County Council. It will be held at NETPark (the North-East Technology Park) at Sedgefield.

Mr McManus said: “Working in the space industry really isn’t rocket science. You don’t have to be extremely clever or high tech to supply it, you just need to understand what the requirements are and be able to deliver them.

“Businesses shouldn’t be afraid of the unknown because there are so many opportunities.”

Stewart Watkins, managing director of CDDC, said: “Businesses may think that they don’t have the high-tech products that the space industry is looking for, but the opportunities are so wide, with traditional skills such as welding and electronics, being in demand.

“Spacetech will provide an invaluable opportunity for businesses to learn from leaders such as Cryogenic Systems who are experienced in working in the space market and can share their knowledge.”

Businesses interested in attending the conference can find out more at or by calling CDDC on (0191) 3708680.”