Inmarsat charts a new course for its business
You can make the case that it's actually the biggest UK space story of the year so far - London-based Inmarsat's announcement that it's going to put three huge spacecraft in orbit, starting in 2014.
I know Britain got an executive space agency in April, and that's potentially a huge deal. But everyone is still waiting to see if the UKSA really does represent a new policy approach on the part of government or is merely a re-badging exercise for the way space policy is implemented in Britain. Time will tell.
The BBC didn't even report it! (This correspondent was on a beach in the south of France at the time).
Inmarsat has a fascinating history. It's something of a granddaddy when it comes to satellite telecommunications.
It started life 31 years ago as a UN-created, not-for-profit outfit that would save lives at sea by routing distress signals from sinking ships to rescue services.
The International Maritime Satellite Organization (Inmarsat) was a remarkable endeavour in many ways, bringing together the US and the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War to do something for the global good.
Inmarsat still fulfils this safety-at-sea role, but its interests are now much wider; and it's also a fully commercial concern listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Its 11 satellites specialise in handling mobile satellite communications from remote areas, predominantly for the industrial, business and government sectors.
These could be container ships on the ocean waves, oil rigs in the North Sea, or news crews filing stories from a disaster zone. Phone calls, video, audio, data - it's all being bounced off satellites sitting 36,000km above the equator.
Inmarsat's new venture is called Global Xpress. The company has ordered three state-of-the art spacecraft from Boeing in America, to essentially improve its mobile broadband offering and to position itself for the bandwidth demands of tomorrow.
The I-5s, as they will be known, will be able to deliver speeds of up to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) to customers. In other words, the type of broadband service we currently enjoy in the home can also be had in the middle of a jungle with the next generation of satellites.
Andrew Sukawaty is the chairman and CEO of Inmarsat. He told me:
"The satellite business has long time horizons. We announced Global Xpress a month ago and four years from now the spacecraft will go up. We're looking at what speeds people are going to want to have supported in that timeframe. At home, you're going to experience much higher bandwidth speeds through DSL and cable connections, for internet and other types of applications. Those types of speeds will now be available in remote areas, too - on a ship, on an aeroplane; you can have it while you're climbing a mountain."
You may not climb a mountain very often, or even work on a ship, but the aeroplane example is an interesting one.
Offering connections to airline passengers is one of the fastest growing sectors for a company like Inmarsat. It's still a small sector, granted; but it's clear people will soon expect their "always on" lifestyles to extend 30,000ft into the sky.
An increasing number of airlines are now starting to put wi-fi in cabins, and the traffic is routed to the ground via satellites.
Just to come back to the space agency issue, finally. This week, the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee will be taking oral evidence on the subject of the UKSA.
The MPs have been seeking the views of industry, academia and others, to try to establish whether anything has yet changed in the way government approaches space.
These are uncertain times, not least because the Treasury is likely to rein in public spending in all areas...including on space.
So, I thought it would be worth asking Andrew Sukawaty for his take on the current situation:
"Space needs government support and that sounds like money, but it's not just money. Money is a small part of it actually. It needs support in the programmes that it implements globally, and sometimes that takes the form of support in Europe, in Brussels [for EU-led programmes like the Galileo satellite-navigation system]; or in international forums like the International Telecommunications Union to make sure we get the right spectrum and orbital slots for our satellites.
"When I compare us to the rest of the world, we're in the top 10 certainly, but we're not in the top five. I would contrast us to France and the amount of support they've given to the space programme, which is just phenomenal.
"Commercial space and government space are important elements in having an economy which is leading-edge and providing the kinds of jobs and services that are world leading. The UK is in such a prime position because it has the engineering and science talent here, but it will not stay that way unless government supports it."