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Government Space United Kingdom Science

UK Space Agency Launched 125

krou writes "Today saw the launch of the new UK Space Agency (UKSA), which will officially come into being on the 1st of April. Its stated goal is to lead to more coherency in space policy, and better decision making, by gradually assuming control over the various budgets and management functions of various government departments and science funding councils. Lord Drayson, the minister for science and innovation, said that 'People in the UK are not aware of just how good Britain is both at space research and in terms of our space industry; [a space agency] is going to make people more aware of that. But in practical terms, it's going to make the decision-making by government in all aspects of space policy much more joined up, better co-ordinated — a single point within government which has responsibility for making sure that we get everything in alignment such that the space research we do, the space industry that we're building, fulfils its true potential.' The government also announced that it is adding £24m to the £16m put up by business to create an International Space Innovation Centre at Harwell in Oxfordshire."
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UK Space Agency Launched

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @05:53AM (#31595150)

    I was hoping it would be called Her Majesty's Space Agency (HMSA), it sounds much better then UKSA.

  • by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @06:02AM (#31595208)

    The first positive news that comes out of the UK for ages. How do those people cope? Sheesh.

    The amount of positive British news reported in the British media is roughly the same as the amount of positive American news reported in the American media.

  • by Faluzeer ( 583626 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @06:41AM (#31595414)


    They have already chosen the logo and colour scheme.

    As for your references to Soviet UK, it should be noted that nepotism exists across the political spectrum. Yes we have too many quango's under the current Labour Government, just as we had too many quango's under the previous Conservative government...

  • by c6gunner ( 950153 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @06:57AM (#31595504)

    Reported crime is very different from low level intimidation by welfare bred chav thugs who know exactly how far they can push it before they will get in serious trouble, which is what I was talking about

    In other words, you're a coward who's scared shitless of everyone around him, and you get your kicks out of whining on slashdot. Well, as long as you're willing to admit that, I guess I can't really argue with you.

  • by segedunum ( 883035 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @07:07AM (#31595568)
    It wasn't really just the Tories. It was the civil servants under both the Tories and Labour who ran it into the ground. They didn't think it was 'viable', and by that time we had become totally Americanised - and then the burgeoning commercial satellite business took off.........
  • by lordholm ( 649770 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @07:41AM (#31595750) Homepage

    This is pretty pointless, the UK could raise their contribution to the ESA and ESA would need to hand more contracts back to the UK. There really is no point to having their own space agency, compared to ensuring our common European interests.

    And the same goes to the rest. If they need one, set it up as the Swedish Space Agency, they don't really do anything except oversee the Swedish contribution to ESA and some research. There really is no need to develop launchers or satellites locally.

  • by Ginger Unicorn ( 952287 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @08:25AM (#31596048)

    You clearly said "crime rates skyrocketing out of control". This is demonstrably untrue, and the fact that you made this claim indicates quite clearly that you have little actual knowledge of what you're talking about, and are just pulling vitriol out of your arse.

    Yes, chavs intimdating people is unacceptable, and no it isn't as rife as you think it is, just because you watch police..camera..wankers every night on channel 5.

  • by krou ( 1027572 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @08:25AM (#31596056)

    I'm glad you're happy to live in a society where underaged thugs can and do intimidate old ladies, little children, and the less well off as a matter of course.

    As a matter of course? Wow. It's really funny that this is your perception. A small anecdote for you. I'm South African, and I'm living in the UK (have been here for 9 years). My parents still live in South Africa. A recent phone conversation from my dad went something like this:

    Dad: Where's [your wife]?
    Me: She's out in [local city], she'll be back tonight at 11.
    Dad: Good grief, will she be okay?
    Me: What do you mean?
    Dad: I mean, is it safe?
    Me: Of course, she'll be fine.
    Dad: But crime is so bad over there, are you sure?
    * A brief pause while I ponder on the amazing situation of my Dad living in South Africa telling me crime is bad in the UK *
    Me: Umm, it's really not that bad Dad.
    Dad: God, I watch Sky news all the time, it sounds like a war zone. People getting stabbed all the time ...
    Me: Uh, Dad, do you watch the news about South Africa at all?
    Dad: Yeah, but it sounds much worse over there!

    And that's the crux really: it seems much worse than it is because its sensationalised. Here's a tip: stop reading rags like The Sun, or the Daily Mail, and stop watching Sky News, or at the very least start analysing the "facts" these news outlets trot out. Most of the major news outlets in the UK rely on xenophobia and fear to sell their papers. It's really peculiar that people seem to lap it up and create this world of fear that really doesn't exist. Yes, I've seen "mindless" intimidation from a hoodie. I can probably count the number of instances on one hand, and that's having lived here for 9 years, some of them in some fairly "dodgy" parts of London. But that's hardly representative of life in the UK to generate the irrational fear you're exhibiting.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @08:29AM (#31596094) Homepage

    The Brits have been generally less keen on the whole EU thing than the continent has. They haven't moved to the Euro, for instance. Among other things, if they're more closely tied to the EU, then the UK has to play second-fiddle to Germany and France. So I wouldn't be surprised if part of this is a subtle anti-EU move.

  • Thats my interpretation of it. This will presumably mean that any university research project that wants to fly an instrument in some other nations spacecraft will now have to go through an endless round of paperwork with the "Strategic Space Agency" who will check that it fits with their political mandate to fly a second rate television celebrity into space in order to promote the socialist ideals of our barking mad government.

    In other words the UK is going in the diametric opposite direction to the USA who have decided to take away NASA's monopoly and get a bit of commercial competition going in the civilian space arena.

    Its not surprising that there is a sizable number of the British population who dream of the Army taking over, taking the Labour government to court for treason and lining them up and shooting them as they are convicted.

    Of course with any luck we will have a change of government in the next couple of months and we can look forward to the long slow dismantlement of the factory floor sweeping Soviet economy that are the legacy of over a decade of the Labour parties ideological bankruptcy. Did I say I wasn't keen on the Labour party? Oh I see I did...

  • by krou ( 1027572 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @08:50AM (#31596306)
    That was exactly the point I was trying to make - SA has one of the worst crime rates in the world, and yet my Dad's perception was that the UK was worse because of Sky's media coverage.
  • by JasterBobaMereel ( 1102861 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:37AM (#31596730)

    If you want an international perspective try watching the UK news on events in the USA .... we don't see many good news stories from the US either

    You do have a School shooting most weeks, can't walk the streets in safety and are likely to get caught in the crossfire of an armed robbery most days .... or is this just (as I suspect) media hype and most Americans would not recognise their own country as portrayed in the UK Media

    I suspect that the US Media do the same, and show the UK as nothing but doom and gloom and more restrictions and scandal, but the reality is very different

  • by lordholm ( 649770 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:41AM (#31596774) Homepage

    Sometimes I wonder why people are so blind, the EU is culturally tied together. This stem from more than a thousand years of common history.

    For example, I practice Historical European Martial Arts, especially focused on longswords. There are two major schools of longsword in Europe, the German and the Italian. But do you know what the difference is? Well, practically nothing (major) except the terminology (there are also British and Spanish schools, but they do not differ to any larger aspect either). Why is this, well, parts are just body mechanics, but the other part is the the Italian masters went to Germany to study, and vice versa. This is not only limited to these two countries, Europe has been integrated more or less for a very long time, especially when it comes to transferring culture over the borders.

    Others examples are famous artists such as George Friedrich Händel who was born in Prussia, but moved to London and wrote some brilliant master pieces. I would argue that science is also culture and scientists have been moving around, exchanging ideas in Europe for hundreds of years.

    The main point here is that the EU really is unified in the cultural aspects (there are regional differences, but so there are between for example southern and northern Sweden).

    You are partially correct about the social issues, but I see them breaking down every day.

    Further, the EU will not break up in any way, because as High Rep Ashton said it (not an exact quote, but the essence is there): "Either we come together or we let Washington, Deli and Beijing make our decisions, it really is that simple", and it is...

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