After many months of COVID lockdowns, the British Interplanetary Society organised its first in-person event at the QEII Centre in Westminster, and I was able to attend. But there were not many of us there; the majority of speakers were still hosting talks via Zoom.
There was much celebration for the new regulations supported by the House of Lords that permitted an additional eight spaceports to open in the UK. Over the past 10 years, the space industry has grown between 9-10% each year, and during the lockdown the growth was 11% globally. This suggests that, in the future, space may offer alternative jobs and, who knows, within our lifetime we may even have space job centres!
On the second day of the conference, the British Interplanetary Society held The Sir Arthur Clarke Awards, to recognise and reward outstanding achievements in British space activities.
We heard from Philip Sallon, once known as a nightclub founder, party organiser and celebrity socialite, but now a great space enthusiast. He said: “We are not going into space, because we are in space, proven by Copernicus and other great minds.” At the Awards ceremony he announced that he was to present a new TV show called ‘Britain in Space’, to encourage younger generations to understand the importance of engaging with the space industry. I am very proud that I have been chosen to produce and direct his show.