SGAC United Kingdom
|National Points of Contact|
Welcome to the SGAC UK page!
In 2012, the UK celebrated 50 years since it joined the exclusive ranks of space faring nations. The UK currently has the second largest aerospace industry in the world, and the largest in Europe. By 2030, following the guidance of the 2015 National Space Policy document, the UK hopes to grow its market share of the space sector to 10% of the projected GBP400bn total value. Keep up to date with what the UK has to offer students and young professionals interested in the ever-growing space industry.
Young Space Activities Overview in the United Kingdom
There are many ways that students and young professionals can get involved with the UK space industry and all that it offers. The most common ways are through their academic studies, student societies, conferences and workshops. If you know of anything space related happening in your area that you want us to share with others and advertise, do let us know!
The UK has a wealth of academic courses on offer aligned with the space sector either directly or indirectly. Some include those in the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, astronautical engineering, aerospace engineering, physics, and even space physiology, law or policy. Many universities have a SEDS (Students for Exploration and Development of Space) society, or astronomical society, and if yours does not, please start one! The SGAC UK National Points of Contact and national UKSEDS committee aim to help nurture new societies and provide support where possible. Please do visit the UKSEDS website along with this one to stay informed with events and opportunities. Contact us if you wish to be part of the mailing list.
The UK also has a number of professional societies, some of which are listed in the ‘Institutions’ section below. These all hold a varied programme of talks, conferences and events throughout the year which provide a great way to meet like-minded people and network while learning about new aspects of space. A number of institutions around the country hold space and astronomy festivals targeted to inspire young people, for example the British Science Festival and the Cheltenham Science Festival.
Most regions of the UK have a local amateur astronomy society for practical observation through telescopes. They often have a schedule of talks and also hold star parties. Prof. Brian Cox has boosted awareness and raised enthusiasm markedly throughout the UK for astronomy following his popular Stargazing LIVE show. Furthermore, there are also plenty of Citizen Science projects that allow everyone to contribute to scientific discovery - like Zooniverse, which asks for your help in classifying galaxies.
There are many many ways to be involved in the space sector in the UK, do make the most of being in a country where there is so much activity going on!
Country-Specific Events in 2017
Following Tim Peake’s successful mission to the ISS which ended in 2016, there is likely to be a lot of enthusiasm for space in the UK, with lots of space related activities and events. The following list is nowhere near exhaustive, but provides a good starting point.
Gravitational lensing, or how to detect and measure the warps of space-time (Jan 10th) - Lecture by Professor David Valls-Gabaud, Observatoire de Paris - London.
Future Histories and Forecasting (Jan 25) - one-day symposium on the subject of hypothetical future histories and technical forecasting - London.
Space Law and the UN Treaty (Jan 31)- 50th anniversary lecture on the UN Treaty on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space - London.
ExoMars Rover (Feb 9): Engineering for the Red Planet - Abbie Hutty, lead Spacecraft Structures Engineer on the rover, will talk through the mission’s aims, objectives and major challenges - Cranfield.
Exploring the Solar System with Robots (Feb 14) - Lecture by Dr Chris Arridge, Lancaster University - London.
National Student Space Conference (March 4- 5) - UKSEDS annual conference for students interested in space. - Exeter.
Gaia – Mapping the Milky Way from Space (March 14) - Lecture by Professor Gerry Gilmore, Cambridge University - London.
ESA's Space Science and Exploration Missions (May 9) - Lecture by Professor Mark McCaughrean, University of Exeter - London.
The Icarus Project (May 10) - Lecture by Dr Angelo Grubisic, University of Southampton - Cranfield.
UK Space Conference (May 30- June 1) - Biennial conference bringing together all of the UK's major space companies and other stakeholders. - Manchester.
Soviet/Chinese Technical Forum (June 3-4) - Presentations, films and debates on the history, current activities and future plans of both the Russian and Chinese space programmes - London.
National Astronomy Meeting (July 2-6)- Premier conference for the Royal Astronomical Society - Hull.
IAU Symposium 335: Space Weather of the Heliosphere: Processes and Forecasts (July 17-21) - Aims to further knowledge on space weather by linking various aspects of research in solar, heliospheric and planetary physics. - Exeter.
World Space Week (Oct 4-10) - Various events through the UK celebrating space.
Reinventing Space Conference (Nov 6-9) - British Interplanetary Society's annual space conference - Glasgow.
Other event listings:
British Astronomical Association (BAA) - Events
British Interplanetary Society (BIS) - Events
Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) - Events
Institute of Physics (IoP): - Events in your area
Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) - Events
Royal Astronomical Society (RAS): - Events - Specialist Discussion meetings
Royal Society - Events
The Big Bang Fair - Regional events
TEDx - UK events
Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in the UK
CaSE (Campaign for Science and Engineering)
ESERO UK (European Space Education Resource Office)
International Space School Educational Trust ISSET
Parliamentary Space Committee
Royal Astronomical Society
Royal Aeronautical Society
Society for Popular Astronomy
UK Space Agency
UK Space Directory
Women in Aerospace
Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL/Birkbeck: Astrobiology & Planetary Exploration Meeting Programme
Cranfield University: Space Research Centre
Liverpool John Moores University: Astrophysics Research Institute
Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL)
Open University: Department of Physical Sciences
Queen Mary University of London: Astronomy Unit
University College London (UCL): Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Bristol: Astrophysics
University of Kent: Astronomy, Space Science & Astrophysics
University of Leicester: Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Southampton: Physics & Astronomy
The University of Edinburgh: School of Physics & Astronomy
The University of Sheffield: Department of Physics & Astronomy