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UK report to advocate national space policy

A national space policy and technology and demonstrator programmes are likely recommendations from a UK industry/government report expected in January.

Industry and academic consultation days undertaken for the report found support for smarter investment, more security and defence dual-use systems, government recognition that satellites are critical national infrastructure and a national policy and technology programme.

The work to date has also found that there is a need to grow the sector's small and medium-sized enterprise base, but also a perception on the part of SMEs that there are high barriers to entry to the space market.

"It doesn't require a big budget [to help SMEs]. Better information for people who are in and want to work in the space industry about radiation-hardened components and US technology export laws can help. It can be solved by a few experts," says Terry Coxall, speaking at the CEAS 2009 European air and space conference in Manchester.

Coxall is programme director for the industry/government space innovation and growth team that will produce the report, which includes a 20-year sector development vision.

While published in January its recommendations could be made public in December. That would coincide with the expected publication of the outcome of the British National Space Centre's 12-week UK civil space spending management consultation process that finished in October.

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