UK Policy on Humans in Space

Over in the UK some have criticized US space policy. (For example, see NASA Watch this week, Another Hollow Space Rant From the UK Press. We're just happy Keith Cowing is on our side of the pond ;)

Well now you can have your say on UK space policy. The
Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) Space Group recently published the discussion paper, Humans in space - UK policy and invites your comments and contribution.

Pat Norris, chair of the Society's Space Group notes,
The Discussion Paper attempts to be logical and balanced. However, on a personal note I would like to say that the paper has been born out of long standing frustration at the state of manned spaceflight. I helped (in a very small way) to put the first humans on the Moon in the 1960s as manager of Apollo navigation at TRW in Houston, and then watched as NASA took bad decision after bad decision concerning human spaceflight programmes. I gave vent to my frustration in evidence submitted to hearings of a House of Lords Committee on space about 20 years ago, but only now have felt that the time was right to initiate a substantive discussion on UK policy.

I would very much welcome your involvement in reviewing UK policy on human spaceflight, and thereby helping to create a balanced and sustainable programme of solar system exploration.
Pat adds that the discussion paper "is the start of a RAeS initiative to help inform UK policy on human spaceflight to be followed by a Forum in Spring 2006 at which the issues will be debated" and that opinions are sought on the issues raised and questions posed in this paper to help inform debate at that forum. Please send your comments to space@raes.org.uk. Responses received by 28 February will be included in helping to shape the programme of follow-up activities which is now beginning to emerge."

(Hat tip to Jim Volpe at
Space Generation for the heads up on this.)

By the way, policy critiquing aside, Happy
140th birthday to the The Royal Aeronautical Society.

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