A high flying firm which has helped thrust satellites to all corners of the solar system is aiming to propel itself to even greater success.
Moog-ISP specialises in producing and testing satellite thrusters, some of which have helped power missions to Jupiter and Mercury.
The Westcott-based firm even has technology on a satellite currently orbiting Mars and picking up data from NASA’s Curiosity rover.
Now the company, which has its roots in the original Royal Ordnance facilities established at Westcott airfield just after World War II, is looking to expand and train up a new generation of rocket scientists.
Programme manager Adam Watts said it is an exciting company to work for and there are plans to nearly double the size of the team, from 28 to around 50, in the next two years, with an apprenticeship scheme being prepared for launch.
Mr Watts said: “It’s like George Osborne said, we have got to get Britain making things. If you make things you can sell them.
“We have incredible engineers in Britain. We should be promoting the fact that it’s an extremely good career. You don’t have to be an accountant, you can still make a good living as an engineer.”
As well as the Mars mission and many other ventures, the company has supplied thrusters for NASA’s ongoing Juno programme to Jupiter.
The mission launch in August 2011 began a five-year journey to investigate unanswered questions beneath the surface of the mysterious gas giant.
The thrusters produced in Westcott first fired up on September 14 and will next be used in three and a half years’ time when the craft reaches Jupiter. Over the course of the mission the parts will travel some 1.75 billion miles.
Moog-ISP produces large and small thrusters worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to help position satellites in space.
An English electric ‘thunderbird’ rocket was recently placed at the site to recognise the production of thrusters at Westcott which helped to power it.
The rocket was a surface to air missile first conceived in the late 1940s and produced for the British Army.