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Guest: Chis Newman; Topics: Space law, policy, commerce and programs in the UK plus much more about space & the British people. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed back Chris Newman to the show for British space industry and policy updates. During the first segment of our two segment 88 minute discussion, Chris started off by talking about his soon to be published book on space plus the fact that in the UK there is not yet political certainty with space and other areas of their culture and economy. Chris reminded us that the UK ESA support is separate from their support of the EU and Brexit has for the moment destabilized things. Also, the UK can remain strong and committed with to ESA while withdrawing from the EU per Brexit. This is an interesting discussion plus it provided a good foundation for our discussion going forward for this program. This early discussion covered a significant part of the first segment of our program.
Chris dissected the UK space budget telling us where the money goes and who or what gets what amount. I asked about entrepreneurship and startups and learned they are not yet a big part of the British space financing network. Small satellites, Earth observation were key components. Other discussion topics in the first segment included many based on listener emails asking about Reaction Engines, space awareness and the UK population, Mars fever in the UK, Elon Musk, UK astronauts, the OST, Luxembourg, the UAE and property rights/commercial space. Next, we took a call from Dr. Doug about Skylon and possible SpaceX competition. Space settlements were mentioned as the final topic for the first segment.
In the second segment, we talked about the UK space budget and its stability from year to year including growth trends. We contrasted that to the US space budget which is significantly larger but lacks the stability because our budgeting processes are different. A listener then sent in a note asking about possible UK spaceports. Chris had much to say about this topic.
Due to a question about other UK related countries, Chris briefly described the space industry in Scotland and Northern Ireland. He said the southern part of Ireland was a direct member of ESA and not part of the UK ESA umbrella. We talked timelines for space port development along with other commercial space development.
Chris was asked about the UK interest in private space stations such as Axiom and Bigelow. He said they were invested in the ISS but that the private space stations had not gotten much attention so far. Another listener asked him about the growth of space law in England as well as space culture and leadership issues.
As the program was drawing to a close, we talked more about various rockets such as Ariane 6, SpaceX, British competition and more. He said the focus for 2018 would like be ExoMars. In addition, he thought 2018 would be represented by small steps and developments going forward.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Chris Newman through me using my email address.