The woman who pretty much killed the UK's space program has died.Not many will miss her for reasons more than the above.
"Of those surveyed, 33% were interested in space to 'discover a new planet', and 24% to find life on another planet. When asked to list space exploration organisations 77% listed NASA. Six of those surveyed listed ESA (<0.5%). The data bring starkly to light, despite the Huygens landing on Titan and Mars Express, the lack of awareness of the existence of ESA among a new generation of European school children."
1 Preaching to the converted? An analysis of the UK public for space exploration Entradas, M., Miller, S., Peters, H.P. 2013 Public Understanding of Science 22 (3) , pp. 269-286 0Full Text(opens in a new window) | Show abstract: Subscription required Show abstract | Related documents2 Scientific literacy and attitudes towards American space exploration among college undergraduates Cook, S.B., Druger, M., Ploutz-Snyder, L.L. 2011 Space Policy 27 (1) , pp. 48-52 2Full Text(opens in a new window) | Show abstract: Subscription required Show abstract | Related documents3 Investigating public space exploration support in the UK Entradas, M., Miller, S. 2010 Acta Astronautica 67 (7-8) , pp. 947-953 1Full Text(opens in a new window) | Show abstract: Subscription required Show abstract | Related documents4 Investigating public space exploration interest and support in the UK Entradas, M., Miller, S. 2009 60th International Astronautical Congress 2009, IAC 2009 12 , pp. 9529-9537
"Recommendation 12 proposed that the space industry and the UK Space Agency “should show exemplary and proactive support in championing initiatives aimed at addressing the STEM issues in our schools, colleges, universities and businesses.” The Government accepted this recommendation and the UK Space Agency is now working with industry partners to implement the actions supporting it."
"Several reviews and much anecdotal evidence demonstrate that few subjects have as much impact as space to inspire interest in the young. For example, a 2009 survey3 that 9% of children now want to become an astronaut"
"ensure that support and materials on careers in the space industry are easily accessible, including role models (mainly for younger pupils),"
"Encourage and support the use of space as an inspiring context for learning across all age groups,"
"Develop and implement wider outreach programmes to improve awareness and engagement with the UK’s space programme"
Space exploration is inherently exciting, and as such is an obvious vehicle for inspiring the public in general, and young people in particular, to take an increased interest in science and engineering. This was explicitly recognized in the conclusions of the UK Microgravity Review Panel:"We have also found considerable public interest in activities in space, particularly those that have human involvement.. This is important in addressing the need for future students to study science and technology subjects and in engaging the public in scientific issues..."A similar point was made by the RAS Report, which concluded that:We find compelling evidence that the outreach potential of human space exploration may significantly influence the interests and educational choices of children towards science, engineering and technology.
The Spaceflight Bill will also allow scientists to fly to the edge of space and conduct experiments in zero gravity, which could help develop vaccines and antibiotics, the Department for Transport (DfT) said. Science minister Jo Johnson said the bill would "cement the UK's position as a world leader in this emerging market".The first commercial flight from a UK space port could lift off by 2020 under the powers, the DfT said. Mr Johnson said: "From the launch of Rosetta, the first spacecraft to orbit a comet, to Tim Peake's six months on the International Space Station, the UK's space sector has achieved phenomenal things in orbit and beyond."With this week's Spaceflight Bill launch, we will cement the UK's position as a world leader in this emerging market, giving us an opportunity to build on existing strengths in research and innovation."