The UK Space Agency

Posted: April 1, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
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uk space agencyFrom the BBC.  And as they say in poker, here’s the tell:

“We’re going to get outspent by the Brazilians, the Indians and some of our neighbours – but we can be smarter; we’ve had a reputation for being smarter,” said Andy Green, the co-chairman of the Space Leadership Council, an advisory group to government and the UKSA.

Despite the reputation, smart space power is unlikely to carry the day: India is pumping out PhDs and engineers by the thousands with fellow BRIC member Brazil having a similar labor cost and launch site advantage.  They also both lack some of the major economic anchors the UK will have to deal with in the form of austerity initiatives.

So who is the UKSA?

The UKSA replaces the British National Space Centre (BNSC) which was established in the 1980s to try to bring together the space activities and interests of a disparate group of Whitehall departments and science bodies.

…the BNSC never quite managed to corral this effort into a cohesive structure. The UKSA will be far more top-down in its approach.

Well, that seems like one of those gentle English assessments: never quite managed…

The size and scope of the UKSA?

…its domestic space programme is quite limited in scope – certainly compared with the likes of France, Germany and Italy.

Even as George Osborne was announcing his £10m investment in space technology, the French government was giving details of a £440m injection of funds into its space programme.

As with many government “investments,” there is the promise of work.

It claimed that if its recommendations were followed, the domestic space industry could have a 10% share of the global market within a couple of decades, creating 100,000 new jobs in the process.

Yes, so it is claimed.

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