Chris Atherton

Having always loved the topic of 'space' since childhood, Chris took the long way around when it came to working in this Industry.  After completing his honors degree in computer networks and security in 2007, Chris went on to work in the IT industry for a number of years.  It wasn't until 2012 when he started to make the switch over to the space sector.  After realising that he needed to pursue his childhood interest he used the transferrable skills he'd developed in IT field and built his own high altitude balloon platform.  Following some initial interest he then went on to form Route to Space Ltd which then began offering commercial flights and consultancy for balloon launches, carrying small payloads to the edge of the atmosphere.  It was during this time of making contacts with the likes of the UK Space Agency and other industry bodies that it dawned on Chris just how little of the space industry was based in the North of England. Yet the region can be considered the spiritual heartland of the UK space industry since the British Interplanetary Society was founded in the City of Liverpool in 1933, over 80 years ago.  With the UK government setting out to achieve a national turnover of £40 billion (~$56 billion) or 10% of the projected worldwide market by 2030, Chris realised this would only be achieved if the whole country was involved in building up this industry, rather than relying on the existing businesses to continue their natural growth.  After meeting with other like-minded business leaders at the UK space conference in 2015 (hosted in his home city of Liverpool), the concept of the Northern Space Consortium was born.  The Consortium’s aim is to capture a share of that predicted growth, bringing jobs, opportunities and innovation to the North of England, North Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.  To achieve this, the Consortium is engaging with all the key stakeholders across the regions, connecting businesses with opportunities in the space industry and coordinating the strategy for the North, in order to best take advantage of any opportunities that may come our way. 

Broadcast 2665 Northern Space Consortium

Guests:  Chris Atherton, Art Dula;  Topics: The Northern Space Consortium, UK space industrial development.  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.

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