Saturday, 18 July 2015

Moving House

Hi everyone, this is a quick note to say that I've decided to move this blog over to Wordpress. I'm doing this for a few reasons: having used Wordpress for my own blog I've found it to be a far more capable platform; Google, which owns the Blogger platform, is known for shutting down weak services from time to time (Blogger doesn't appear to have received many updates in recent years, which I take as a bad sign); and it means I can centralise everything rough one platform (and get rid of a redundant app). My new address will be and I hope to be able to copy all blog posts over to the new address very soon.

I'm moving house myself, too, which has forced me to put other things on pause for a bit, but I have something about this week's UK Space Conference to put up shortly and I also have the new Space Environments and Human Spaceflight Strategy to review. During term time most of my time and effort goes on my degree but as I'm free for the summer I hope to report on and extend the work I have carried out for my dissertation.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Getting started again

Several years ago I started this blog to act as a platform to share my enthusiasm for human spaceflight. I had been inspired by a number of experiences, such as the UK Space conference and meeting several astronauts. At the same time, however, I was also struggling with the combination of Asperger syndrome, a degree in Space Systems Engineering, and the aftermath of a family bereavement, so unfortunately I had to let this blog go for a while.

Over the past year, however, I've been working on a dissertation entitled “Should the UK invest in human spaceflight and, if so, how?” This dissertation took a broad look at where the UK space community has come from, where it is and where it's going. Through this I have learned a lot about why the UK took such a limited approach to space in the past and how this contrasts with the efforts and results of other nations, how UK space policy has changed so dramatically over the past decade and what future opportunities are going to look like. My conclusion is that over the coming five to ten years, perhaps sooner, we're going to see an intersection of this changed government approach to space, growing public enthusiasm and 'space-mindedness' following Tim Peake's mission to the ISS and the possible opening of a spaceport, and the availability of launchers and operators that can slash the cost of getting into space. These things are happening now, and it's important that we move quickly to seize the moment before we get left behind.

A few years ago I participated briefly in the Space Entrepreneurs UK meetup group. That group subsequently folded and it seems there's been little activity on that front for a while. It seems like now is a good time to get it started up again. The British Interplanetary Society has been looking at the future of astronautics itself recently and I know that some members, including some who were involved in Space Entrepreneurs UK originally, might be supportive of this. In the meantime, I hope to be able to report on some of what I've learned and examine it more deeply.