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Astronomy News - Exploring Space

United Kingdom Space Agency Inaugurated - 4th May 2010

UKSA logo

The United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA) was inaugurated on 1 April and will control space policy and budgets for the UK. Such an organisation has been a long time coming say some critics, and it is hoped that the creation of such a body will make the previously less coordinated agencies work together more efficiently.

Britain's space industry supports nearly 70,000 jobs and is internationally competitive, something that is not generally acknowledged. The UKSA plans to expand the UK space market to £40 billion and 100,000 jobs over the next 20 years. The move to create a governing body for all space related projects in the UK does not signal an end to involvement in European missions, only a centralisation in how UK spending on these projects is decided.

UKSA is based in the same Swindon premises as it's predecessor, the British Nation Space Centre (BNSC), which previously coordinated civil space activity. Participation in the BNSC by institutions was however voluntary. The UKSA now controls all funding for space technology; funding for research and development in this area was previously granted by Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Technology Strategy Board (TSB). It also oversees the UK's subscriptions to the European Space Agency which were previously controlled by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), TSB and STFC separately.

For more see the UKSA homepage.

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