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Now, a NASA-like space agency for UK

Britain expects to build a competitive edge in space research and realted technology through the new dedicated space agency.

LONDON (PTI): Britain will soon set up its independent space agency on the lines of US’ NASA to leverage on space research and related technologies.

The new organisation, which is yet to be named and most likely to be called the British Space Agency, will represent the UK in all its dealings with international partners.

The announcement, made by the country’s Science Minister Lord Drayson, follows a 12-week consultation held with academia, industry and government departments.

Britain spends about 270 million pound a year on space, most of it via its membership of the European Space Agency (ESA).

“Our space sector hasn't missed a beat during this recession. This is the classic story of outstanding UK science and entrepreneurship continuing to create jobs and achieve exceptional growth,” said Drayson.

He said, “The new space agency is about making sure that the UK fully exploits its competitive advantage in satellites, robotics and related technologies.”

The UK's approach has been to devolve space policy decisions to a club of “users” facilitated by the British National Space Centre (BNSC), The Telegraph reported.

“In principle, having an agency is excellent news,” said Richard Peckham, the chairman of UK Space, an umbrella group representing the British industrial space sector.

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