“Space is hard, and we thrive best when we work together.”
When recalling what first sparked her interest in space, Hannah Lavery remembers she and her father sitting out in the garden as a child, looking up at the stars.
“He also used to take me to all sorts of air shows and aerospace museums as a child,” Lavery recounts. “I remember walking onto a Concorde test model at IWM Duxford and just being absolutely fascinated by flight, and from then on I was very interested in aerospace.”
Lavery is the head of communications in the UK at Lockheed Martin. In other words, she’s responsible for helping share the stories of Lockheed Martin and building and shaping brand awareness of the company in-country.
“Thanks to the UK’s commitment to expanding its space infrastructure and our role within that, that topic certainly plays a considerable part in my day-to-day work.”
Launching the UK’s New Space Era
To equip the UK with its own access to space, the UK Space Agency awarded Lockheed Martin $31 million of funding to conduct the country’s first-ever vertical launch.
“This will provide our country with the first vertical launch capability we’ve ever had, and it’s a great source of pride to work for the team who’s helping bring that to bear,” Lavery said. “Uniquely named ‘the Pathfinder launch’, this programme will pave the way for a new capability and stimulate investment and growth within the sector and for the UK.”
As the company works with ABL Space Systems to ready a launch from a new national space port in the next year, Lavery is excited to have even more space stories to share as the effort gains momentum.
“That’s my favourite part of the job,” she said. “I love getting to share the most incredible stories and be part of history for the UK, helping to inspire people along the way.”
Keeping Pace with a Changing Industry
Even as the UK marches toward realising a sovereign launch capability, there is an appetite for even more advancement and innovation in space in the country.
“The sheer amount of opportunity for development in space for the UK is astounding,” Lavery remarked. “One of the most challenging parts of my job is the sheer scale of opportunity that space itself represents. The industry is growing so rapidly which means you need a lot of pace to keep up with it.”
Still, as far as challenges, go, it’s good one to have. “There is a generally progressive spirit that runs through the space industry,” stated Lavery. “Space is hard, and we thrive best when we work together.”
To address all the burgeoning areas of opportunity, Lavery is also looking at how Lockheed Martin can leverage the best of its space partnerships from its longstanding U.S. space business for future space initiatives in the UK.
Inspiring the Next Generation
When asked if she ever saw herself working in space as a child, Lavery reflected on how a future career for her was not immediately apparent – but that is changing as the UK looks to carve itself a place at the forefront of the space industry.
“Space wasn’t immediately visible as part of my career pathway, because I wasn’t in the United States, where they had a large class of astronauts – even less so as a young female,” she recalled.
“But what’s so exciting to me now is, Lockheed Martin is central to bringing more space infrastructure to the UK, more jobs and opportunities. Future generations here are now going to have a more active space industry as a potential place for a career,” she expanded. “I see the promise and the excitement my own children have in space – they are going to have the chance now to work directly in it, and that’s just awesome.”
As someone with a creative and artistic background, representing a brand and talking about a topic that’s been near and dear to her since she watched Apollo 13 at age 11 – Lavery says she’s in her dream job.
“Space is just so thrilling. For companies big and small, with a can-do attitude, the possibilities are endless,” she concluded. “We’re doing new things every day and making history every day.”