Broadcast 2665 Northern Space Consortium

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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,  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   


We welcomed Chris Atherton to the show for this 1 hour 2 minute one segment discussion focusing on The Northern Space Consortium and their coming event on March 1, "A Case For Space As An Economic Driver."  You can find out more about the Consortium at  The upcoming event is detailed at  Due to a phone line problem, we were unable to bring on our other two guests, Art Dula and Buckner Hightower and we apologize for the glitch.  We were happy that Art was able to call in later to the program using our toll free number.


Chris began the discussion by talking about the UK space economy but the lack of it in the North of England including North Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.  He said the Consortium's aim  was to capture a share of the predicted space economic growth bringing jobs, opportunities and innovation to these areas.  He went into some detail describing the size of the global space economy, the UK space economy, and the percentage the Consortium wanted to capture.  Chris said that this area was rich in education, a skilled labor force, technology development, manufacturing and computing skills so it was well suited to play a significant role in the overall UK space economy. 


Chris went into detail about their upcoming event, Friday, March 18, "A Case For Space As An Economic Driver."  Please read about it at the link above.  He listed many of the keynote speakers, panels and topics planned for the event.  This event is an effort to reach the business community to inform them about space economic opportunities and to help develop contacts within the space community to help them capitalize on these opportunities.

Later in the discussion we learned about the historic role of the North of England in space development in the UK given the British Interplanetary Society was started in Liverpool in 1933.  Chris was also asked about the role of ESA in their plans.  Listener Randy asked about a possible launch industry for the Consortium. 

Art Dula called in on the toll free line.  He talked about being a sponsor of the Consortium with Buckner Hightower, the Heinlein Prize Trust, and the continued development of the commercial space industry. Some of the points he made focused on there being no old infrastructure to impede modern technology and manufacturing plus the area was rich in educational infrastructure and opportunity.  He said the area was similar to Florida, California, and Seattle.  He also talked about the space industry on the Isle of Man and that the UK space industry as a whole was a growth industry with a strong focus on entrepreneurial activities and innovation.  It does not seem to have been adversely impacted by global financial happenings. 

I asked Art and Chris if the UK and the Consortium area was ripe for public-private partnerships. Art said yes and cited Reaction Engines as an example .  He also referenced a recent Tauri Group report on the increasing interest in commercial space investment saying that there was now more investment in commercial space than at any time over the past 15 years. 

Before the program ended, we talked about competition from other parts of Europe.  Both Chris and Art had interesting things to say about competition as they don’t see others getting in on the commercial space industry as competition.  Don't miss what they said about this.  Art said that the global space economy was a long term investment.  He also talked about new technologies that he was aware of that would be paradigm shifting and disruptive.  Both Art and Chris offered thoughtful closing statements. 

Please post your comments/questions in the comments section for this show on The Space Show website. You can reach either Chris or Art through me at  




UK Northern Space Consortium

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14 Mar 2016 Chris Atherton, Art Dula, J. Buckner Hightower
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