Oh well that was a short lived rumour, so much for the idea that the UK could get a government department with as whacky a name as Her Majesty’s Space Agency

As you read this (at 10:30h local time GMT) this blogger is kicking his heels in the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre just off Parliament square waiting for their Lords Mandelson and Drayson to deliver the goodies on the UK space industry front

As the gentlemen and ladies of the UK press await the official press kit and pre-election speeches Hyperbola can tell you now what is what

The £20 million this blog guestimated would be part of a national space technology programme will be announced and a further £21 milion is to be unveiled as part of the government and industry commitment to the new European Space Agency facility at the Harwell, Oxfordshire “innovation centre”

It is quite a boost for an industry that historically has been left to the scientists and their delicate instruments but it does also come within a few weeks of a UK general election that the governing Labour party is not expected to win

So tens of millions of pounds is perhaps an easy commitment to make when you’re not going to be signing the cheques. Even if you genuinely believe that championing the space industry as a new direction for post-financial crisis Britain is the right thing to do, the reality is that industry is going to have to to argue again, vociferously, for that chunk of the diminshing pie when the next government comes to power – whether that is 6 May or again come 6 November…