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Author Topic:   United Kingdom's UK Space Agency (UKSA)
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-10-2009 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UK Department for Business Innovation & Skills release
Science Minister Announces New Executive Agency For UK Space and Satellite Industry

A new executive agency will be created to take the UK's recession-busting space and satellite sector into a new space age, Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson said today.

This new bureaucracy busting agency will replace the British National Space Centre, and bring together for the first time the six Government departments, two research councils, the Technology Strategy Board and the Met Office that currently oversee the organisation of UK space activities to enhance efficiencies.

The Government's ambitious plans to accelerate growth and jobs within our world-leading space industry were set out in Lord Drayson's speech at the Appleton Space Conference.

Space has been one of the nation's unsung economic success stories in recent years - and a thriving sector will be vital in building Britain's future.

The UK space and satellite sector has grown in real terms by around 9 percent a year since 1999/00 - more than three times faster than the economy as a whole. These recession-busting trends are testament to the type of businesses that will generate the jobs of the future.

It currently contributes £6.5bn a year to the UK economy and supports 68,000 jobs. The UK is also currently second in the world only to the USA in space science.

The new agency will allow the UK to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by a world increasingly dependent on advances in space innovations and science. It will safeguard the nation's critical mass of skills and expertise and will bring together a range of budgets into one place improving strategic decision making.

Lord Drayson said:

"Our space sector hasn't missed a beat during this recession.

This is the classic story of outstanding UK science and entrepreneurship continuing to create jobs and achieve exceptional growth.

"The new space agency is about making sure that the UK fully exploits its competitive advantage in satellites, robotics and related technologies."

The announcement comes following a public consultation on how to fund and organise the civil space sector, so that it meets the challenges of the future and delivers the greatest benefit to the country.

As well as maximising the role of space technologies in driving economic growth in high tech, high skilled services, the new agency's responsibilities would include:

  • strengthening the UK's relationship with the European Space Agency;
  • agreeing with UK industry how to maximise the benefits of space technologies;
  • working with the scientific community to provide a clear voice on decisions that affect the sector.

Ian Pearson MP, Economic Secretary at the Treasury, said:

"Establishing a UK space agency reinforces the Government's commitment to be at the cutting edge of innovation and science. Satellite telecommunications and applications affect all our daily lives. They provide high tech R&D and job opportunities which play an important role in the growth of the UK economy."
Lord Drayson also highlighted the publication of BNSC's Space Exploration Review in his speech. This examines the options for future UK participation in the exploration of our solar system, especially locations where humans will one day live and work such as the Moon and Mars.

It identifies several technological opportunities including developing advanced robotics to work in partnership with astronauts, a lunar communications and navigation service to support robotic and human exploration of the Moon and advanced launch vehicles such as Skylon to reduce the cost of getting into orbit.

The report recognises the importance of both robotic and human space exploration and will be used to inform future decisions and international discussions with other space agencies.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-23-2010 08:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UK Department for Business Innovation & Skills release
Multi-million pound space centre announced as UK Space Agency launched

A new £40m International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) at Harwell is at the heart of Government plans to support Britain's growing space sector.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Science Minister Lord Drayson announced the creation of the ISIC, supported by £12m from BIS' Strategic Investment Fund, at today's launch of the UK Space Agency.

The centre, to be sited with the European Space Agency facility opened last July, will provide a central hub for British space activity and ensure the UK maintains its world-leading space capability. Funded through public and industry investment, the ISIC will establish centres of excellence in the UK to:

  • exploit the data generated by Earth Observation satellites;

  • use space data to understand and counter climate change; and

  • advise on the security and resilience of space systems and services.
The space and satellite industry is one of the UK's unsung success stories. It supports 68,000 jobs in the UK directly and indirectly and contributes £6bn to the economy. This hi-tech, high-skilled sector underpins high speed broadband, high definition television, GPS and weather forecasting that the modern world relies on.

Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, said:

"The £6bn space industry is one of Britain's real success stories. Year on year it provides more jobs both directly and indirectly to the UK workforce. This is exactly the kind of high value-added industry we need to support as we rebalance our economy, creating sustainable growth and the jobs of the future."

Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Drayson, said:

"The action we're taking today shows that we're really serious about space. The UK Space Agency will give the sector the muscle it needs to fulfil its ambition. Britain's space industry has defied the recession. It can grow to £40bn a year and create 100,000 jobs in 20 years. The Government's commitments on space will help the sector go from strength to strength."

Pam Alexander, Chief Executive at the South East England Development Agency, which leads on the space sector on behalf of the nine RDAs, saids:

"The space industry is growing three times faster than the rest of the economy and will make a major contribution to the UK's future economic success. The sector is already growing strongly in the South East and London, delivering high-quality, hi-tech jobs in telecommunications, security and navigational systems.

"The new funding for the International Space Innovation Centre, which includes £6m investment from SEEDA, confirms Harwell's position as a centre of excellence and builds on SEEDA's work to harness the potential of space. The UK is firmly on the global map in this internationally competitive industry."

Further measures to support the British space industry announced today include commitments to:

  • launch the UK Space Agency on 1 April bringing together all UK civil space activities under one single management;

  • develop a National Space Technology Strategy to make sure the space sector delivers its potential, overseen by an industry-led steering group;

  • ensure the observations needed for climate monitoring to enable the UK to strengthen its leadership role in climate change policy and science;

  • establish a senior-level expert panel to take a view of emerging space capabilities to reflect these in future national security and defence planning; and

  • work with industry to set out how space-enabled services can help deliver next generation broadband.
A new Space Leadership Council will also be established to provide advice on the implementation of the government response to the IGT in the first instance. The Council will include representatives from industry, academia and Government.

The UK Space Agency will take over responsibility for BIS policy and key Government budgets for space. This will start with the ESA subscriptions currently funded by NERC, STFC and TSB and subsequently managing

UK interests in EU projects including the space component of GMES, and Galileo. These are currently the responsibility of Defra and DFT respectively. It has also been agreed in principle that the Agency will manage the UK's financial interest in the EU Satellite Centre, which is currently the responsibility of the MOD. The Agency will also begin to take responsibility for space funding for technology and instruments currently carried out by the Research Councils and TSB. Crucially the Agency will negotiate on the UK's behalf on international bodies.


Posts: 268
From: Portsmouth, England
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 03-24-2010 03:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OLDIE     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I must say that the April the first date is very appropriate. The commitment of successive U.K. governments to spaceflight has always been seen as a bit of a joke!


Posts: 2212
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 03-24-2010 09:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lord Mandelson! Say no more!!


Posts: 1042
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 03-24-2010 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm confused why ESA astronaut Timothy Peake was at the launch?

He's not representing UKSA or the government here (who have no part in funding his training at ESA).

Unless a future British government decides to fund human spaceflight, I doubt there will be anyone to follow Peake.

paul prendergast

Posts: 429
From: crawley west sussex UK
Registered: Apr 2004

posted 03-25-2010 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for paul prendergast   Click Here to Email paul prendergast     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't know why the agency was not better advertised, surely the people in power are aware that for us to be involved in the future of space that should get the info out on a wider degree.


Posts: 1042
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 03-26-2010 10:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by paul prendergast:
Don't know why the agency was not better advertised

That doesn't surprise me, considering the track record of this Labour government.

I still remember the words of Tony Blair's space minister just after British-born NASA astronaut Michael Foale returned from his dramatic mission on Mir in 1997.

Asked whether Britain would participate in future manned missions, Lord Sainsbury said "if the right project comes along". What other project has there been other than ISS?

I hope the UK Space Agency gets consistent and sufficient funding and that it makes the case for a British astronaut corps.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-31-2010 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The UK Space Agency now has its own website:
Welcome to the UK Space Agency website. The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.

On 23 March, the Science Minister, Lord Drayson announced the launch of a new executive agency to replace the British National Space Centre and to bring all UK civil space activities under one single management. View regular updates on the transition process.

This site explains what we do and how it affects you. Sections of the website are still under development during this period of transition, so please bear with us and help to spread the message that the UK has a Space Agency.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-21-2010 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UK Space Agency release
Historic space deal between UK and Russia

Today (Wednesday 21 July 2010), the UK has concluded an historic agreement with Russia leading the way to greater collaboration in space between the two nations.

In signing the agreement, UK Space Agency's Chief Executive, Dr. David Williams said it marked a new stage in cooperation between the UK and Russia in civil space activity. "Space provides governments with the possibility to improve lives across their communities, along with offering novel commercial opportunities," said Dr. Williams. "It is a truly global activity and one where it is right that we should work together".

Credit: UK Space Agency (Lynn Hilton)

Dr. David Williams, Chief Executive of UK Space Agency and Head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Anatoly N. Perminov

The Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Bureau was concluded at the Farnborough Airshow on July 21st. Head of the Russian Federal Space Agency Anatoly N. Perminov signed for Russia.

In his message delivered to the UK counterparts Mr. Perminov pointed out that the Memorandum of Understanding highlights the new step in relations between the UK Space Agency and Roscosmos. "To explore and benefit from space at most we need to cooperate with each other," noted Anatoly N. Perminov. "And that is the very essence of our agreement. I'm sure that the future of space exploration can be guaranteed only by international cooperation".

The Secretary of State - Deputy Head of Roscosmos Mr. Vitaly Davydov added: "The Memorandum of Understanding clearly indicates the willingness of both Russia and the UK to establish an effective mechanism for mutually beneficial cooperation. Though specific collaborative projects are yet to be defined, we believe that there will be a whole number of joint projects in the nearest future that will be aimed primarily at the application of space technologies in the interests of social and economic development of Russia, UK and Europe in general".

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) has had a long and successful collaboration with a variety of Russian organisations spanning 20 years, working with the UK and Moscow offices of Commercial Space Technologies (CST Ltd.) as representative and local partner. SSTL and CST have together been one of the major customers for Russian launch services.

Professor Sir Martin Sweeting OBE, Executive Chairman of SSTL, commented "We have built up a close relationship with our colleagues at CST and the Russian Space Agency over the last 20 years, successfully launching 21 satellites on-board Russian rockets over 11 launch campaigns. SSTL was the first customer and partner for the DNEPR launch vehicle, allowing Kosmotras to compete in the international market for launch services using this launcher and also the first customer for SSO services from Plesetsk on Cosmos LV."

"SSTL is extending this relationship into the future through significant participation in the Kanopus high resolution Earth Observation constellation with our partner FSUE NPP VNIIEM [1] and the launch of three further satellites from Russia later this year. I hope that the signing of this MOU between UK Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency will bring further commercial benefits to the space activities and space industries of both countries."

SSTL has teamed up with UK and Moscow offices of Commercial Space Technologies (CST Ltd.) as representative and local partner since early 1990s.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-21-2010 09:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UK Space Agency release
UK Space Agency and NASA sign joint statement of intent

The Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willetts has today (Wednesday 21st July) announced that the UK Space Agency and NASA have agreed a statement of intent for potential cooperation in civil space activities.

The statement, signed yesterday, at a meeting in London, by the Minister and the NASA Administrator, Charles F. Bolden Jr, confirms the mutual desire of the two agencies to identify new cooperative activities related to Earth and space science, life sciences, and space exploration, in addition to other areas of mutual interest.

Credit: BIS

David Willetts, Minister of state for Universities and Science (Left) and NASA Administrator, Charles F. Bolden Jr

Dr. David Williams, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said, "The UK and the US have a long history of collaboration in space activities and we want to ensure that this relationship keeps going from strength to strength and continues to produce international, world class science and exploration."

NASA Administrator, Charles F. Bolden Jr, added, "NASA has a long history of successful cooperation with the United Kingdom and looks forward to enhanced cooperation through the new UK Space Agency in a variety of areas of mutual interest."

Cooperation on Earth science, including the utilization of ground-based networks, airborne missions and space-based technology, can contribute to a better understanding of the Earth system, its changing global dynamics, and the impact of human activity on the environment. Earth science applications, in particular, hold the promise of concrete societal benefits.

Likewise, closer cooperation in space science and space exploration could greatly improve scientific knowledge of the universe, and boost innovation and technology development. Cooperation between NASA and the UK Space Agency should expand scientific exchanges between U.S. and UK scientists and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.


Posts: 2212
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 07-23-2010 03:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks promising, but our past involvement has always struck me as peripheral at best. Let's hope for an improvement.


Posts: 1042
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 07-27-2010 02:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think we should adopt a wait-and-see approach. But let's hope that Britain's Astronomer Royal won't be advising the coalition government on matters of human spaceflight.

He's quoted as saying: "It's hard to see any particular reason or purpose in going back to the Moon or indeed sending people into space at all."


Posts: 2212
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 07-27-2010 05:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps he is a member of the "flat earth society" too?

spaced out

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From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 07-27-2010 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There have been (over-)optimistic times for the UK space industry before... as per this vintage BAe decal:


Posts: 1104
From: Walsall, West Midlands, UK
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 11-25-2012 07:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman   Click Here to Email spaceman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
News this week of some U.K government investment in space.
The UK Space Agency is set to invest £1.2 billion in some of Europe's biggest and most lucrative space projects, providing the UK with increased leadership in a rapidly growing global sector and building on the UK space industry's £9.1 billion contribution to the economy.

From satellite communications to Mars rovers and nuclear space batteries to weather satellites, the direction of Britain's investment in European space projects was decided today as the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, finalised negotiations for the UK at the European Space Agency's (ESA) Ministerial Council in Naples.

The outcome of the negotiations will strengthen the UK role in a number of areas, including telecommunications and Earth observation satellites. It will also secure around £1 billion of orders per year from British businesses and lay the foundations for the UK to deliver its ambition to have a £30 billion space industry by 2030.

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts said:

"Space is big business for the UK so it is important for us to make strategic investments that will continue the growth of this thriving industry. The programme of investment we've negotiated at ESA will not only allow us to get ahead in the global race by securing more major contracts for UK industry, but will also provide us with the tools to manage major challenges like disaster relief and climate change."

The UK's investment of around £240 million per year over the next five years will be split between ESA's mandatory programme, which all member states must commit to, and 10 other programmes, including a one-off contribution to the International Space Station as part of the negotiations on the Orion Mutli-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV).

The UK's increased investment in ESA will ensure the UK plays a lead role in frontier scientific research concerning the Solar System, the Sun and the universe beyond. It will also allow us to deliver indisputably world-class science whilst providing growth for the UK economy and benefiting society at large.

The optional programmes, including the UK's contribution to the International Space Station, have been selected to maximise the economic growth to the UK, bring significant business to UK industry through future orders and create a stronger industry able to sell more abroad. It will also enable us to lead on economic services development, aspects of robotic exploration such as space nuclear power and robotics and climate studies using space data.

The UK space sector expects significant returns from the new plan of investment. Industry has already identified projects to the value of £1 billion that should follow in train from the additional funding.

The UK's new package of investment with ESA includes:

  • New £16 million investment in the International Space Station

    The UK's one-off contribution of £16 million to the European Space Agency's participation in the International Space Station will be focused on telecommunications and propulsion technology to be integrated into the new Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) called Orion. UK industry has an established capacity to deliver these key technologies, and the UK Space Agency has seized the opportunity presented in negotiations to secure the possibility of long-term industrial return for the UK.

    This investment will help UK industry to diversify its industrial technical capabilities, and to achieve the long-term ambition of capturing 10% of the world space market.

  • Major increase to investment in telecommunications

    Satellite telecommunications is at the heart of the UK space industry, with the previous round of ARTES generating £750 million of private investment and sales. By the end of 2013, every UK satellite TV channel will be delivered via UK-built spacecraft. Future opportunities include using satellites for air traffic control and monitoring of shipping security via satellite and novel commercial applications that fuse data from multiple sources. Hand in hand with a UK investment of £161 million in ARTES, a 60% increase in UK funding, ESA has committed to developing its presence at Harwell in Oxfordshire, creating over 100 new high-tech jobs.

  • £81 million for weather satellite Metop 2G

    The UK Space Agency will invest £81 million in Metop 2G to secure a 12.5% share of the total programme. Metop will replace the current satellites fundamental to the Met Office's service to the public, business and Government. This investment will allow UK industry to play a key role in developing the prototype satellite and guarantee repeat orders from EUMETSAT, generating an assured multiplier for the UK economy. In 2008, the UK did not invest in the Meteosat programme, and so this investment in Metop 2G represents a significant new opportunity for the UK industrial capability.

  • £166 million for the Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP)

    With an investment of £166 million, the UK Space Agency has once again secured a strong role in this Earth observation programme which has previously delivered significant scientific and industrial benefit to the UK. The backbone of ESA activities in the field of Earth observation, EOEP is a powerful tool for scrutinizing how our fragile home world has been changing over time, and this investment is consistent with previous UK commitments.

  • £26m for Global Monitoring of the Environment and Security (GMES)

    The UK has agreed to invest £25.9m in this programme to develop long term, reliable Earth observation data sets. In earlier phases, significant funding was forthcoming from the EU and is also anticipated for the next phase leading to a major European asset. UK industry is already building space technology for the programme but more significant will be the impact on both public policy (natural disasters, climate change, food and energy security) and the development of commercial applications of the data through the Harwell space cluster.

  • Investment of £18 million in the European GNSS Evolution Programme (EGEP)

    This optional technology programme represents a high-value return on investment, targeted at preparing for future generations of European navigation satellites, offering reduced costs and higher performance over the current Galileo satellite platforms. The UK is involved in building all of the current 22 satellites and - through EGEP - can maintain its competitive edge when the EU takes over full responsibility and funding in 2014. This contribution is nearly four times the contribution from 2008.

  • £18 million for Mars Robotic Exploration Preparation Programme

    This investment of £18.4 million in this optional technology programme will see the UK take the leadership in developing nuclear power sources for space missions in synergy with the future civil nuclear power programme at NNL Sellafield. This complements the work on future international missions to succeed the current Exomars mission, and could potentially demonstrate strong spin-out technology in the terrestrial economy.

  • UK to join the European Life and Physical Sciences Programme (ELIPS)

    The UK Space Agency will invest £12.4 million in this long-running programme to exploit the unique environment of space for fundamental and applied science in health, biology, materials and physics. Benefits of joining this programme include insights into the human ageing process and new lightweight materials for jet engines.

  • £28 million for Generic Support Technology Programme (GSTP)

    In a dramatic ramp-up in early technology investment, the £28 million committed by the UK to the GSTP programme will help keep UK industry ahead of the pack in competing for tomorrow's opportunities.

    Taking early phase space technology R&D across the 'valley of death' into practical application, this programme is particularly important for SMEs and equipment suppliers who can work with European partners and benefit from the recognised quality of ESA technical management. The programme goals extend to offering opportunities for flight demonstration, thus overcoming a key barrier to commercial take-up.

  • £5.6 million for Space Situational Awareness (SSA)

    Investment in this programme will allow the UK to be involved in further developing a means to monitor and mitigate hazards caused by space weather and space debris. Risks include loss of vulnerable power and communications networks due to society's reliance on electronic systems.

Dr David Williams, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said,

"With the majority of the UK's investment in space being spent through ESA programmes, a robust plan of investment for ESA is pivotal to the UK space industry. Thanks to the Government's increased funding, we were able to enter the negotiations with the funds to match our vision and will now be able to continue programmes that will reinforce the continuing growth in a sector that now contributes over £9 billion to the UK economy."


Posts: 365
From: London, UK
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 01-23-2013 05:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for minipci     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The UK Space Agency (UKSA) has promoted its director of space science into the position of chief executive, BBC News reports.
Dr David Parker takes the top job at a time when British orbital activity is experiencing a great renaissance.

...Dr Parker not only leads the UK delegation to Esa but also chairs one of its most important committees - the Programme Board for Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration.

"I am extremely proud to accept this position," the new chief executive said.

"The last two years have proved what we can accomplish in space through collaboration and targeted investment. Britain is working together for a remarkable future in space, and at the UK Space Agency, we are leading the way."

Dr Parker succeeds Dr David Williams who has taken up a post with Australia's national science funding agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

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