THE Isle of Man is one of the top contenders in the race to make the next manned lunar landing.
Aerospace market and consultancy analyst firm ASCEND has ranked the Island alongside the likes of the United States, Russia, China and India.
The company has devised their own odds of which nation could lead the race to return to the moon and they feature in an article in their Space Intelligence Report publication.
Based on the growing strength of the Island’s space industry, the Isle of Man was ranked fifth.
The Island rated higher than both the UK and Europe in the rankings.
A copy of the report can be found here
The article gives the Island odds of 50-1 to be the next nation to land on the moon.
It states: "A surprising choice this one but the tax haven island has firms with a commercial interests in manned lunar flyby flights using Russian hardware.
"A three legged lander is a stable configuration as NASA’s unmanned Lunar Surveyor landers found in the 1960s. But will the flag be next to fly on the moon?"
The recognition of the Island's space industry comes as great news to those involved in the sector locally.
Alex Downie MLC, political member with responsibility for Space, said: "Articles from reputable publications such as Space Intelligence News which recognise and acknowledge the Island's growing space industry in this way is great publicity for the Isle of Man and will hopefully lead to further enquiries and inward investment."
Art Dula, chief executive officer of Excalibur Almaz Limited, the Isle of Man based space tourism company focused on returning to the moon, said: "The Isle of Man is the leading venue for the world's growing commercial space industry.
"Regulatory and insurance support from the Isle of Man Government for orbital space tourism has been a great help to our business."
Tim Craine, director of space commerce for the Isle of Man Government, said: "This recognition is most welcome and continues to be a team effort via our unique public private partnership with ManSat to build the space industry here at home."
While Christopher Stott - chairman and CEO of ManSat - who is the Island’s honorary representative to the space industry said: "We've a long road ahead of us still, but this recognition is most welcome. Our work in building this new industry on the Island is international in nature and often goes unseen at home."