It doesn’t sound like the biggest appointment in the global context of space exploration but actually the UK is a fairly big player in the world exploration of space. The UK Space Agency has appointed Dr David Parker to be the new director of Space Science and it’s at a point where the industry in the UK is starting to flourish.
The Government of the UK has identified that space exploration is one very important sector which could help stimulate the British economy. THe industry in the UK generates almost £10 billion a year with many thousands of staff. The important factor is that throughout the recession, this industry has experienced very positive growth.
With the support of the Government the budget of the UKSA has been boosted significantly, meaning that it could invest specifically in the European Space Agency. There has been over £1 billion allocated to supporting European projects in the next few years. This represents a 30% increase and makes the UK the third biggest investor just behind France and Germany.
Dr Parker as well as leading the UK space agency also chairs one of the European’s most important committees – The Programme Board for Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration. He is reported as being very pleased to accept the position, which he has been deputising for several years.
If you’d like to see some of the wonderful BBC space and science programmes then they are normally available online using the BBC Iplayer application. However you will need to be in the UK to view these although there are some solutions if you’re not. There are many applications which can provide you with a British IP address to access UK only content have a look here – http://thenewproxies.com/, which all work perfectly with the BBC website and Iplayer application. For those who other devices to connect online, I’ve found a similar post which works for US proxies and VPNs on iPads – here, I’ll see if I can find the same for Android phones and tablets.