Great Britain space agency calls for an increased space effort


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The competition heats up: The United Kingdom’s space agency has issued its proposed future strategy, focusing on a renewed involvement with ISS and the European Space Agency.

Following a public consultation and lengthy discussions across government, the new strategy, published today, concludes that continued involvement in the ISS and other programs via ESA membership is the best way to involve U.K. scientists and industry in human spaceflight. The document says the government will consider bilateral projects with other space agencies but fears always being the junior partner since the United Kingdom has no launchers or space stations. It does not think that the commercial launch industry is sufficiently mature for the United Kingdom to buy services commercially. The report also states: “The Agency will also consider its role in human exploration missions beyond Earth orbit, especially where this complements science and technology goals for robotic exploration.”

I wonder if the newly elected conservative British government agrees with this strategy. It appears to me that it was researched and written prior to the election.

One comment

  • Edward

    From the article: “The document says the government will consider bilateral projects with other space agencies but fears always being the junior partner since the United Kingdom has no launchers or space stations.”

    This is why I am so excited about commercial man-rated launch vehicles and their manned spacecraft as well as Bigelow’s space habitats. Countries such as Britain will not have to spend their scarce space research euros on launchers and space stations, they will be able to dive straight into performing science on board the space habitats. They should be able to afford to do their own missions without partnering with other space agencies or the fear of being a junior partner.

    More science faster and from a wider variety of countries, companies, and universities. I expect the pace of manned space exploration to really pick up in the next decade, even before the expensive SLS can start its mission (whatever that may turn out to be).

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