Space Day Conference

Farnborough 2012: ‘Space, a new direction’

The continued growth of the UK, European and international space sectors was the focus of a conference of leaders from government, space agencies and the space industry hosted by the UK Space Agency on Tuesday at the Farnborough airshow’s Space Zone.

The conference was hosted by David Williams, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, with an opening address from Francesco Profumo, the Italian Minister for Education, Universities and Research, and Chair of the ESA Council at Ministerial Level.

This was followed by speeches from Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, Enrico Saggese, President of ASI, the Italian space agency, and Vladimir Popovkin, Head of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.

David Willetts, UK Minister of State for Universities and Science, and Andy Green, Co-Chair of the UK Space Leadership Council, closed the session by stressing the continued growth of the space sector in the UK and the work being done to stimulate economic growth and to promote technology and innovation.

The speakers reflected the main themes of the Space Zone ‘Space, a new direction’, concentrating on new environments for investment and growth.

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At a time of economic challenges, space has proven to be an engine of economic development and growth, an anchor of stability and a counterbalance to negative trends.

Space-based services are a part of our daily lives now more than ever, and represent a growing element of the economic and societal value of space.

“ESA has never been as successful as it is today, with great missions and achievements. The time is right to change in the direction of competitiveness and growth and ESA is moving in that direction,” emphasised Jean-Jacques Dordain.

In November, European ministers responsible for space will be called to take important decisions on future space programmes at ESA’s Ministerial Council, a crucial moment for European space.

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