BRITISH scientists are urging people to tune in to the launch of Nasa’s next mission to Mars at 12.50pm British Summer Time today, Thursday, July 30.
UK science and industry has played a key role in the mission, as part of humanity’s search for evidence of life outside Earth.
The mission will send a special rover, called Perseverance, to examine the surface of the planet, take samples and carry out a variety of experiments, with British scientists playing a leading role.
See the rocket blast off on https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive .
The mission comes at an exciting time for the UK and indeed Redditch, as local MP Rachel Maclean, a junior minister in the Department of Transport, is also the UK’s Minister for Space.
And today the government has its own launch with a new public consultation which could pave the way for the UK’s first ever space launch.
The consultation is on the regulations for the UK’s spaceflight programme which will support the Space Industry Act 2018 which in turn will enable a range of commercial spaceflight and associated activities to take place in the UK, including from any of the seven proposed spaceports in South West England, Scotland and Wales, paving the way for the UK’s first ever space launch.
Government and industry have set a target to grow the UK’s share of the global space market to ten per cent by 2030 with the government having already awarded grants totalling nearly £40m to establish commercial vertical and horizontal small satellite launch from UK spaceports.
Speaking of the consultation, Mrs Maclean said: “This is a giant leap for our space sector. This consultation will help to formalise our approach to space by bringing commercial spaceflight to the UK and creating an environment that fosters growth in the sector.
“The steps taken today will join-up leading technology companies to rural areas across Great Britain, levelling up local economies and making them a leader in small payload space launches.”