UK Goverment Space Questionnaire

1. Introduction
2005 is a critical year for the development of space activities in Europe and the UK.
In Europe, it is currently expected that
the European Space Programme (ESP), defining European priorities for
the European Union (EU), the European Space Agency (ESA) and their
Member States, will be concluded at a EU / ESA Ministerial Space
Council in December. The following month will see commitments to
programmes at the ESA Ministerial Council. And negotiations continue to
establish the role of space in the EU??s Framework Programme of research
In the UK, important decisions will be
taken this year on spending priorities. The operational arrangements
for governmental activities in space are being revised. And decisions
need to be taken on the successor to the current UK Space Strategy.
The British National Space Centre, which
coordinates Government civil space activities, wants to hear what the
space community thinks. It will take these views into account as it
prepares its position for the issues to be decided later this year and
next. We also plan to hold a fuller consultation on the UK Space
Strategy next year, which will consider implementation in the light of
the decisions taken this year.
2. European Space Programme (ESP)
The EU is increasingly using space in carrying out its policies, and it
has been in discussion with ESA and Member states as to how best to
develop a common European Space Policy which in turn will deliver a
European Space Programme (jointly referred to as, ESP) . This is
expected to receive political endorsement at the meeting of EU and ESA
Space Ministers in late November. BNSC has set up an Advisory Board on
EU issues to consider how the UK should approach and influence the
Programme as it gains greater definition.
BNSC is participating fully in the
relevant EU / ESA fora and contributing to the development of the ESP.
The main themes of the UK input to the ESP are:
?Ø need for user driven / application focus: Galileo, GMES and Satellite communications as key areas for EU space activities
?Ø need to review & update industrial policy for space
activity in Europe: encourage a study to assess the costs and benefits
of industrial return mechanisms
?Ø guaranteed / assured access to space ( launchers) best
achieved by access to multiple worldwide) sources of competitive
launcher services, including European provision
?Ø avoidance of defence role in ESP: participating in debate
over commonalities between security and defence but protecting member
state remit on defence
Please comment on the following questions:-
?Ø What should the UK??s main objective be in relation to the European Space Policy / Programme?
?Ø Are there any areas or issues that the Programme should definitely cover?
?Ø Are there any areas or issues that should definitely be excluded from the Programme?
?Ø Any other brief comments.
3. ESA Ministerial Council
The Ministerial Council, expected to take
place in December, will be the first full such Council since 2001. BNSC
will be consulting through its Advisory Board network and across the
BNSC Partnership.
A preliminary set of UK themes requiring the preparation of inputs are as follows:
?Ø level of resources on the mandatory programme (space
science & general budget), noting budgets are limited; Aurora
planetary exploration programme; Galileo satellite navigation system,
Earth Observation Envelope Programme 3; Meteosat 3rd Generation; Global
Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES); ELIPS II, Advanced
Research in Telecommunications Satellite (ARTES) I, III &IV;
General Support Technology Programme (GSTP) IV.
?Ø significant policy/strategic interests on Launchers and
Human Space Flight programmes albeit currently with little funding
?Ø progress on the handling of meteorological activities including interface with EUMETSAT and relationship ESA/EUMETSAT
?Ø modernising financial management within ESA
Your views would be helpful on the following questions:
?Ø What should the main aim or outcome of the Council be?
?Ø What should the UK position be?
?Ø Are there any areas or issues that should not be endorsed by the Council?
?Ø Any other brief comments.
4. UK Space Strategy
The major decisions to be taken this year
in Europe, and in UK Government spending decisions, will set the scope
for the next Space Strategy, which will cover the period 2007-9. The
intention is to publish the new UK Civil Space Strategy at the end of
2006. It is currently envisaged to be a more concise document focussing
on clear identification of key actions, responsibilities and
performance measures.
BNSC will, as usual, conduct a
consultation early next year, which will focus on how best to operate
UK civil space activities within the limits set by these decisions.
Before then, we would like to hear from you on these points:-
?Ø The UK Space Strategy is for the space community as a whole. Do you agree with the objectives in the current strategy?
o enhancing the UK??s standing in astronomy, planetary and environmental sciences;
o stimulating increased productivity by promoting the use of space in government, science and commerce; and
o developing innovative space systems, to deliver sustainable improvement in the quality of life.
?Ø If not, what should the 3 objectives be?
?Ø What should be the priorities for Government support?
?Ø Has anything been given insufficient prominence in the current Strategy?
?Ø Any comments related to technology
?Ø Balance between national and international activities
(currently about 60% of UK civil space spend is invested via ESA and
much of the rest via EUMETSAT)
?Ø Any other brief comments.
5. To respond
Thank you for your contribution. Government
involvement in space, and its expenditure, serves no purpose if it does
not support the interests of the space and other communities, as well
as wider policy needs. A summary of responses, and a list of
respondents, will be published on the BNSC website.
Please respond to Tom Perriment, BNSC, 151 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9SS by 9 September or by e-mail to, indicating your name, address,
job title (if relevant) and organisation (if relevant).
Info credits from BNSC 
Author: EARSC

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