The USA must seem like the centre of space reviews with all its videos and public deliberations for its human spaceflight plans committee that could lead to the cancellation of the return to the Moon programme Constellation
But for spaceflight reviews no other country can lay a hand on the United Kingdom. Hyperbola has lost count of the number of reviews since 2006 but this country has certainly had a new spaceflight “strategy” partly published in 2008 when it was supposed to start, a review of its launch licensing regulation, a space technology programme that came and went, a report on regulating space tourism, a space exploration review to ask what the UK could do as a part of a human Moon return effort, an examination of a possible UK human spaceflight programme and a review of bilateral cop-operation with NASA
And now we have the Innovation and Growth Team for space, or Space IGT as it is known. Reporting by January its leadership from the UK space industry hope to impress on the politicians and civil servants the need for action. As the UK is having an election come May or June next year (expect the electoral phony war to begin this month with the political party conferences) the space industry will also be engaging with the other political parties to try to convince them that space is worth including in their electoral pledges
The UK space industry certainly has got some good arguments. To give you an idea of how farcical government support is for the country’s industry Hyperbola is informed that a deal with the Russians collapsed because the UK government wanted to operate through a deal done with the Soviet Union, despite the Russians pointing out that the Soviet Union no longer existed, and it took five technical meetings with the Chinese before the British had to own up to not having any money to do anything anyway
No doubt the IGT Space report will be very worthy and have lots of dry but significant statistics but the simple route of ridicule of the existing Labour party led government set up might work just as well, it will certainly get more media coverage. And the incoming government won’t feel the need to defend it (all the opinion polls point to a Conservative party led government next year). We haven’t heard much about the UK-NASA MoonLITE mission, why not start there?
Meanwhile over in Russia where there is no confusion over what to do in space the Russian Federal Space Agency’s website has an interesting article about Angara’s RD-191 rocket engine (translated here care of Google) and a pic here showing the progress with the Soyuz launch pad in French Guiana – come on ESA where are your pics?