8th Appleton Space Conference
14 Dec 2012
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HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York KG, giving an opening address at the 8th Appleton Space Conference held at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory on Thursday 6th December 2012

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​​​​​​HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York KG, giving an opening address at the Conference

To see HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York KG giving his welcome address, please see our Conference video.​

 
​Highlights from the day included a welcoming address by HRH Prince Andrew the Duke of York KG, a video address from The Rt Hon David Willetts, MP and invited lectures from Robert Manning, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Chief Engineer and Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell.
 
An update on NASA’s CURIOSITY mission, how space data can be applied to bring about medical advances and an opening address from The Duke of York who highlighted the £9 billion annual contribution the space sector makes to the UK economy, were the first talks of the 8th Appleton Space Conference today. (6 December 2012). David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science addressed the conference through a live video link. Appleton sees world leaders in the field come together at STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to discuss the latest in current and future space developments. The conference is also showing off life-sized models of two cameras being developed by RAL Space to enable a ‘live’ video feed of Earth from space. The cameras are due to be mounted on the International Space Station next year. 

The Appleton Space Conference at STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory attracts key players in the field of space every year. This year, in the week NASA announced it will send a new rover to Mars in 2020, the conference has heard from Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Chief Engineer Robert Manning. He described the build-up to the CURIOSITY mission and touched upon what the team had learned from the mission. NASA has said its new rover will be based on the MSL architecture that successfully carried the Curiosity rover to the surface of Mars this summer. The conference, in addition, had an update on space medicine, from Professor Kevin Fong from University College, London, who described how the space and health sector can work together to benefit each other.

In the live video address he gave, David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, said: "Harwell is a crucial centre for space activity. It really is a very dynamic cluster. If we can continue to deliver the science and research programme to sustain and expand the commercial sector, we can look forward to even greater deliverables from the space sector".

Also topical at the conference are the models of two cameras being designed, built and tested by RAL Space to enable a high definition streaming video camera to be installed on the International Space Station (ISS) next year. The cameras, one medium and one high-resolution, will offer an image comparable to much of Google Earth, but in video format.  The medium resolution camera continuously images the Earth as it passes underneath the ISS, whilst the video camera can be steered to target scenes through up to two minutes of uninterrupted video. The images collected will be made available through the Canadian company Urthecast. The project is a joint venture between Canada, Russia and the UK.

ISS Cameras Project Manager Ian Tosh, from RAL Space, said: “We are delighted to be working on these cameras that will offer such novel technology to so many people. While the life-size models are on display at the conference today, the real cameras are currently being worked on by RAL Space staff in our space test facilities. They are undergoing thorough testing both within our thermal vacuum chamber and our vibration test facility, to ensure they will survive the harsh conditions of space”.  

As well as giving us access to world leading technology in space and pushing the boundaries of what we know, space science research has and continues to be, transformed into technology for health and security. For example the techniques needed in the Ultrasound were originally developed for space, as were those used in security scanners.

The Duke of York, who opened the conference in his role as Patron of the Harwell Campus, is a strong advocate for space research and what it does for society and the UK economy. Addressing the conference His Royal Highness said: "If we are going to be a prosperous nation schools, academia and industry must all be in place. Harwell is one clear example of how this co-ordination is working. The space sector is worth 9-10 billion to the UK economy each year and Harwell is at the core of that."

Chairman of the conference, and RAL Space Director Professor Richard Holdaway, said; “The Duke of York has been a strong and vocal ambassador for British industry, and has been particularly supportive of the UK space industry. We are very fortunate to have His Royal Highness as Patron of the Harwell Campus and delighted to have him at the Appleton conference today.”

Also at the conference, new Turner Prize winner Elizabeth Price from the collaboration Invisible Dust* gave a talk. Elizabeth is currently the first Artist in Residence at RAL Space funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The conference closes with the 8th Appleton Space Lecture: ‘Is Astronomy always this exciting?’ which will be given by Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell FRS from the University of Oxford.


 
 HRH The Duke of York, KG

Robert Manning Robert Manning

The Appleton Space Conference, HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York with delegates The Appleton Space Conference, HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York with delegates
 
Professor Richard Holdaway Professor Richard Holdaway

Professor Kevin Fong Professor Kevin Fong

The Rt Hon David Willetts MP The Rt Hon David Willetts MP
 
Derek McKay-Bukowski Derek McKay-Bukowski

Professor John Zarnecki Professor John Zarnecki

Stuart Clark Stuart Clark
 
Professor Tim Horbury Professor Tim Horbury

Ian Taylor Ian Taylor

Paul Febvre Paul Febvre
 
Elizabeth Price and Alice Sharp Elizabeth Price and Alice Sharp

Alvaro Gimenez Canete Alvaro Gimenez Canete

Richard Peckham Richard Peckham
 
Professor Richard Crowther Professor Richard Crowther

Dr Hugh Lewis Dr Hugh Lewis

Group Captain Alistair Byford Group Captain Alistair Byford

Dr Mark Woods Dr Mark Woods

Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell being presented with an all sky image of Pulsar B919+21 by HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell being presented with an all sky image of Pulsar B919+21 by HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York

HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York being presented with work designed and manufactured in the RAL Space Precision Development Facility  
 
HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York opening the UK Centre for Calibration of Satellite Instrumentation HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York opening the UK Centre for Calibration of Satellite Instrumentation

Appleton Space Conference
Robert ManningRobert Manning
Professor Richard HoldawayProfessor Richard Holdaway
HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York arrives at RALHRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York arrives at RAL

HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York arrives at RALHRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York arrives at RAL
HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York addresses the ConferenceHRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York addresses the Conference
Robert ManningRobert Manning
Alvaro Gimenez CaneteAlvaro Gimenez Canete
Stuart ClarkStuart Clark

Appleton Space ConferenceAppleton Space Conference
Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell BurnellProfessor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York presents an image of Pulsar B919+21 to Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell BurnellHRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York presents an image of Pulsar B919+21 to Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell 
Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell BurnellProfessor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York, opening the UK Centre for Calibration of Satellite InstrumentationHRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York, opening the UK Centre for the Calibration of Satellite Instrumentation
HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York, opening the UK Centre for the Calibration of Satellite InstrumentationHRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York, opening the UK Centre for the Calibration of Satellite Instrumentation 
HRH Pince Andrew The Duke of York, being presented with work designed and manufactured in the RAL Space Precision Development FacilityHRH Prince​ Andrew The Duke of York, being presented with work designed and manufactured in the RAL Space Precision Development Facility
The Rt Hon David Willetts MP taking questions and answersThe Rt Hon David Willetts MP taking questions and answers 

Notes to editors:

The contribution of the space sector to the UK economy was £9.1B for 2010/2011. With an average annual growth rate of 7.5%, the continued contribution of space to the economy is a remarkable success in the current conditions. These figures are from the UK Space Agency’s latest report on the ‘Size and Health of the UK Space Sector’. The Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, announced the figures at the Farnborough International Airshow in July 2012.

*For more information about Invisible Dust, visit: http://invisibledust.com/

Images  

Images of the Appleton Space Conference have been taken at the event and will be available as soon as possible afterwards. Please contact the Press Office for more details.

Contacts  

Lucy Stone
STFC Press Officer
Email: lucy.stone@stfc.ac.uk
Tel: 01235 445627

Sarah Smart
RAL Space Communication Manager
Tel: 01235 44 5742/07837634683
Email: sarah.smart@stfc.ac.uk

Further Information 

RAL Space 

RAL Space, based at STFC's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), carries out an exciting range of world-class space research and technology development. They have significant involvement in over 200 space missions and are at the forefront of UK Space Research.

RAL Space’s 200 staff are dedicated to supporting the programmes of STFC and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), as well as undertaking a large number of space projects for UK and overseas agencies, universities and industrial companies.

RAL Space works alongside the UK Space Agency who co-ordinate UK civil space activities.
RAL Space undertake world-leading space research and technology development, provide space test and ground-based facilities, design and build instruments, analyse and process data and operate S- and X-band ground-station facilities, as well as lead conceptual studies for future missions. RAL Space works with space and ground-based groups around the world.
Follow RAL Space on twitter RAL_Space_STFC

STFC

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and tackling some of the most significant challenges facing society such as meeting our future energy needs, monitoring and understanding climate change, and global security.

The Council has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its expertise in materials science, space and ground-based astronomy technologies, laser science, microelectronics, wafer scale manufacturing, particle and nuclear physics, alternative energy production, radio communications and radar.

STFC operates or hosts world class experimental facilities including:
• in the UK; ISIS pulsed neutron source, the Central Laser Facility, and LOFAR.  STFC is also the majority shareholder in Diamond Light Source Ltd.
• overseas; telescopes on La Palma and Hawaii

It enables UK researchers to access leading international science facilities by funding membership of international bodies including European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). 

STFC is one of seven publicly-funded research councils.  It is an independent, non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Follow us on Twitter @STFC_Matters
www.stfc.ac.uk


UK Space Agency 

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.  It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.
The UK Space Agency:
• Co-ordinates UK civil space activity 
• Encourages academic research
• Supports the UK space industry
• Raises the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
• Increases understanding of space science and its practical benefits
• Inspires our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
• Licences the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
• Promotes co-operation and participation in the European Space programme
For more information on the UK Space Agency, visit: http://www.bis.gov.uk/ukspaceagency ​

For more information please contact: RAL Space Enquiries

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