Comments for en-gb 30 Mon 22 Sep 2014 15:11:40 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Chris Looks like the UK is going to have to borrow more money from the Bank of England, at a horrendous price to it's CITIZENS. Just tell your poor, your sick, your unemployed masses and your wretched hospitals it's for a greater cause and that they'll just have to make do with squat. Mon 05 Apr 2010 22:41:28 GMT+1 Taarakian @Xe135: Collaboration with Brazil? We even have a launch system! All we have here are imported parts that explode together. A scandal under the carpet. Hmm, on the other hand we have a large experience at inventing acronyms for space institutions and everything space related: GOCNAE, CNAE, GTEPE, GETEPE, CTA, DCTA, ITA, IPD, IAE, IEAV, CLFBI, CLBI, INPE, COBAE, AEB, PNDAE, PNAE, SINDAE, MEB, MECB, CBERS, GICLA, CLA, CEA, MESA, SERE, SACI, SCD, CPT, CPTEC, LIT, RME, DMC, AMZ, OBT, PRODES, PMM, ACS, SATEC, VSB, VLS, VLM, and so on. MECB, for example, stands for Brazilian Complete Space Mission -- could it be Incomplete?! Well, don't ask me what is extinct, divided, grouped or renamed, nor how to say most of these names... And suspect if AEB says it is in control.Fatal blast hits Brazil space hopes (2003)'s Soaring Space-Age Ambitions Are Shy of Cash and Sapped by Calamity (2004)'s flawed space bid exposed (2004) Sat 27 Mar 2010 14:16:09 GMT+1 Benefactor #35 sam"There is barely even a UK anymore, theyre just a tiny island for Gods sakes. The UK has to use propaganda anymore in an attempt to survive. Forget UKSA. NASA is and will be the leader in space for decades and decades to come. "Yes... leading by cutting Constellation? Fri 26 Mar 2010 12:06:52 GMT+1 Robert Lucien Oops previous version #33 was a draft and half-way through being written, sorry!!! Fri 26 Mar 2010 01:10:15 GMT+1 Robert Lucien I like the logo, it has a nice early Soviet look about it, maybe a little totalitarian but then totalitarian is the new black isn't it. :)On acronyms UKSA is awful. I do a lot of design work and have had to create a few acronyms in the past and actually creating good ones is actually very difficult to do. One of mine that I felt really stuck with was 'LOOL' no nice easy alternatives. A final version was 'CLOORS' - 'Complex Logical Object Orientated Relational System' though it sounds like a cross between a disease and a health spa. :) ---------------------------------------------------------If this country is really serious about space, building a real program should certainly be easy enough. For instance if we were to look at orbital launchers there are already many promising programs in the UK waiting for funding. One serious example might be the 'Skylon' and its costs have been put at £10 billion for the whole program, Skylon is expensive but that is no more than the current Olympics are costing.If we cut Trident we could build a full orbital launcher capacity and still have enough left over to build a small sensible tactical scale nuclear deterrent. And we would still have enough to rebuild our whole military and pay off some of the deficit as well. People here forget that the whole reason space is expensive is because it employs tens of thousands of highly skilled people!(I would go for a supersized launcher for doing big missions, in theory a launcher that costs twice as much should lift up to ten times the mass!) Fri 26 Mar 2010 00:54:39 GMT+1 sam Perhaps my last comment was riddled with negativity. Let me be clear. I love the UK, I just dont like the tactics and anti-Americanism coming out of it. Thu 25 Mar 2010 16:39:39 GMT+1 Jericho Morton Esq I think it is fantastic. We can have them spend tens of billions of our money and get to see them 'on the moon' by flying another hollowed out washing machine covered in golden tinfoil. We will cheer and fall for it again. Thu 25 Mar 2010 16:28:38 GMT+1 sam There is barely even a UK anymore, theyre just a tiny island for Gods sakes. The UK has to use propaganda anymore in an attempt to survive. Forget UKSA. NASA is and will be the leader in space for decades and decades to come. Thu 25 Mar 2010 15:01:13 GMT+1 Lisa I don't know what everyone is complaining about. This is brilliant news for the UK - high time we had a space agency! We should be celebrating and building on this momentum, not arguing/whinging about trivial petty things like jaded cynics. The new logo is perfect - striking, relevant, and inspiring. It evokes a feeling that the UK is moving upwards and going places. So let's get behind it.Jonathan - I hope you manage to convince everyone to say U.K.S.A. It'll roll off the tongue easily enough in a few months (think UCLA). And infinitely preferable to ucksar.Let's hope they choose a strong and visionary CEO, who will get things done. I vote Lord Drayson! Thu 25 Mar 2010 14:52:40 GMT+1 Robert Lucien Its always a bit of a joke isn't it - British endeavor in space, honestly though terrible acronym. I work on a lot of innovative stuff and have had to create a few acronyms and actually creating a good one is actually very difficult to do. One of the ones I really hated was 'LOOL' but there were no easy nice alternatives and I was stuck with it (try 'LOOAI', 'LIOOL'), a final version was 'CLOORS' - 'Complex Logical Object Orientated Relational System' though it sounds like a disease. But there were many - 'SAFAS' AIIMS, or 'PRIME',etc. If we were really serious about space, building a real program would certainly be easy enough. For instance the Skylon launcher like other many programs is waiting for funding, and its total program cost has been put at £10 billion. That is no more than the Olympics cost. Or if we cut Trident we could build a full launcher capacity an still have enough left over to build a small tactical nuclear deterrent and rebuild our military and then still have a few billion towards paying off the deficit. People here forget that the whole reason space is expensive is that it employs tens of thousands of people! Thu 25 Mar 2010 14:27:31 GMT+1 callisto 31 GraphisSounds too much like governing by referendum for this (or any other) UK government.They would never accede to putting such responsibility in the hands of the masses. The peasants would not understand and we would end up with something totally at odds with what is to be achieved (to borrow your words, too imaginative, exciting and dynamic).Perhaps we should just forget getting Government involved and leave it to the private sector to make their own way. After all, we have done quite well over the past 50 years to still be in space without political support.It would ensure that elections would not interfere with planning, and we could get a UK-run space collective with a proper logo. Then we could forge our own partnerships with other countries/agencies using private investment funds, possibly more than £3m.A space-age industrial revolution of sorts. Thu 25 Mar 2010 12:41:20 GMT+1 Graphis If you compare the logo to NASA's, or the Canadian Space Agency's, or many others, most of the others have a sense of 'reaching for the stars' about them. And many of them seem to be circular. Ours just looks like a broken British flag... (wonder if there's some subconscious thing going on there?) While it would be silly to just blindly copy everybody else, I do think that a circular, curved design would be more appropriate, as it seems more... well... 'spacey', and it would be nice to have some sense of what we're aiming for, the whole 'boldly going where no man etc...' thing, rather than this purely 'earthbound' notion of a flag, which in itself is based on lines drawn firmly in the dust of the earth. No sense of looking up to the skies and beyond, that's what lets it down....Having said that, the truth is that very many designs would have been put forward in the process, and I've no doubt that some of them would have been exciting, dynamic and more imaginative: but at the end of the day, logos for organisations such as this get chosen by a faceless, grey and unimaginative committee of pen-pushers, who will always choose the one least offensive rather than the designers recommendation. I think these sort of things should be open competitions for British design students, with the winner chosen by a public vote. Thu 25 Mar 2010 11:48:25 GMT+1 callisto 23 Stephen AshworthMy point, Stephen, is that, in order to compete favourably with the rest of the World (if that's what we want to do), then we must find (or create as SSTL has done) a niche where we can happily provide a useful return, not only in space terms, but in commercial ground-based terms as well.We already lead the World with instruments, through RAL and others; we are up there with SSTO spaceplanes (RE/Skylon/BristolSP) and SSTL will continue to offer excellent return at the smaller system end (until EADS snuffs out its competitivity).But look outside. Its the balls of OHB and German government making the noises in European prestigious space projects: its CNES and ATI partnering JAXA and NASA to further planetary goals: its China and India dreaming of exploration. We are on the periphery and, IMHO, chucking £3m at a technology demonstrator is a laugh.By concentrating on robotics and deep-space threat monitoring, we at least steal a march on our European rivals and bring UK back into the fold.Beagle 2 was a farce, mostly because of poor management, poor funding and poor implementation. The schedule pressures didn't help. Don't get despondent because of one abject failure. With the right amount of encouragement, the UK space robotics capability can lead the World and provide the right level of return to get global investors keen.Thanks to our European masters, we have already given away propulsion, composites, antennae/solar arrays, structures and project management to foreign parts. What have we to lose? Thu 25 Mar 2010 10:31:32 GMT+1 george i personally think the logo is great. but since the 2012 logo you can't really go wrong can you =P. It's nicely simple gives the right message and is obviously british which is exactly what is needed. UKSA is nothing compared to the NASA pronounciation, so keeping it as U.K.S.A is probably the way ill be probouncing it.But to be honest, ill be happy if the UKSA actually get itself off the ground (no pun intende) as a propper space agency with rockets and everything will be good for the UK. Thu 25 Mar 2010 10:01:05 GMT+1 Andrew The US arguably only has supersonic flight because of the British Miles 52 aircraft, the swing wing because of Barnes Wallis, the rocket because of a man who devised the V2 that bombed London 1000 times and Hollywood claims a US craft took the Enigma machine during the second world war! The US has reason to be grateful to many other nations for its presence in space. Wed 24 Mar 2010 23:29:45 GMT+1 throwdown re: "China, and even India, are shortly going to overtake the US in space capability, nevermind Europe and Russia.It's an unfortunate position to be in as I think we may be due an explosion in the space industry. "I am sure there are many who thought the US was in an "unfortunate position" in 1958, trailing the Russians.Look how that played out. On July 20th, 1969, the entire planet heard the most electrifying words ever uttered :"Houston, the Eagle has landed."Clearly, there are some who learned little from the entire drama. They are a small group indeed. Wed 24 Mar 2010 21:07:50 GMT+1 throwdown @9: "everyone knows they have been the pre-eminent space power for the last 40 years. However, it does look like that position is increasingly a thing of the past...China, and even India, are shortly going to overtake the US in space capability, nevermind Europe and Russia"Beyond ridiculous.With Apollo, the Americans proved what they can do. To pretend they have somehow "lost it" is absurd. My brother works for NASA (in telemetry and trajectory). I have spent time with astronauts and flight directors. The only reason China and India (and dozens of other nations) have any space presence at all is due to NASA's graciousness in inviting them.The number of nations which NASA has invited to be a part of American innovation and leadership is lengthy indeed.The Americans should be applauded for this, not sneered at as "has-beens". Would the Soviet Union have been as gracious in victory as the US has been to the Russians ? Wed 24 Mar 2010 20:37:55 GMT+1 Tom Jones Just call it the "Ministry of Space"......... and dream of what might have been Wed 24 Mar 2010 20:05:51 GMT+1 brobof I had my own idea for a logo involving the red, white and blue as a circle, parabola and hyperbola. Think RAF only conically projected. Alas it is clear that this Government contract can't think out of "The Box." Indeed the current image makes me think of broken glass and, by association, shattering the crystal sphere that our political masters believe bounds our pre-copernican cosmos: medievallist thinking by our political class continues with regard to science and technology. What with weasel words over GEMINI; the lack of funding for Cassini, Professor David Nutt et al... and the deplorable state of basic science funding at our Universities. So it came as no surprise to see a serious lack of cash. To add insult to injury I also understand that our much vaunted ESA centre has been built on shifting financial sand:"On day of its launch the future of UK space centre is in doubt." I won't believe a thing until I see $9 billion in small untraceable bills in Alan Bond's hands! Alas this another PPT talking shop like BNSC:(Raw)SEWG in SEWG out as they say!As Dr David Whitehouse dr_david_w tweeted yesterday: "Its 1985 all over again..." as a real kicker: the launch on the 1st of April! Positive proof, my fellow space cadets, that HMG regards Space as a joke and have done since Black Arrow. one notes that #debill Mandy can't Google. UKSA gives multiple hits for the "United Kingdom Sailing Association" Doh! Wed 24 Mar 2010 18:07:11 GMT+1 Stephen Ashworth Callisto, I'm totally depressed by your advocating planetary robotics for the UK.I hold the view that the way we abandoned the Beagle 2 project is a national scandal. Our space policy at the time was based on three or four fundamental axioms, one of which highlighted excellence in planetary science. Yet the one planetary science project this country initiated had to be fought for every inch of the way by Colin Pillinger, was supported only grudgingly by govt, and was only allowed to be, like Helen Sharman's flight, an eccentric one-off. Thus there was no continuity, either to capitalise on positive results from Beagle 2, or to allow the programme to take failures in its stride. So when Beagle 2 went AWOL at Xmas 2003, there was no backup to launch on the next opportunity. Meanwhile ESA nobly said "We stand by our fallen comrades", which meant in practice that they had no intention of doing anything but standing, and that just like HMG they were washing their hands of it as quickly as possible, in favour of an all-singing, all-dancing ExoMars that is still years from launch.Colin Pillinger often said that we needed a Mars lander to fill the long hiatus between Mars Express and ExoMars. This was before ExoMars was delayed! How right he was.Please tell me that such a depressing tale cannot happen under the new UKSA / Uksa!Stephen Wed 24 Mar 2010 18:03:52 GMT+1 callisto 16. CardiffR Thugs (not sure where THAT comes from, but unrelated to this)Part of the problem is that there is little immediate return on space activities. If we are lucky enough to get Virgin operating from UK all well and good, and with Inmarsat in London, they are probably the only areas where cash return is actually realised.Even telecom manufacturing has little real profit as there is so much competition out there, costs have to be pared to a minimum just to get the work.EADS are in UK for one reason alone and that is to exploit UK juste retour on ESA funding in space science. What we pay out, the Franco-German alliance take out.Surrey have a comfortable little niche (and fair play to them for finding it), but EADS will soon need more return from them, so their days as a 'good space investment' are probably numbered.We have to find a niche for the UK to exploit and planetary robotics and top-notch instruments are about the only possibility. The things we learn by putting robots on other planets will track over into other areas which provide the return.As for UK space science, unless we nurture a launcher (Reaction Engines) or an indigenous space contractor, there will be no return and, hence, no sound investment. The IGS is an exercise in cloud-cuckoo thinking. Wed 24 Mar 2010 15:45:29 GMT+1 Jonathan Amos @Kent: 2009 was the year of Herschel, so I included a model of the telescope in my thumbnail (it was the 'pint of beer', for those who recall the picture). For 2010, I've chosen an image which celebrates the shuttle in its last year of service. Without the orbiter, many Europeans and a lot of European technology (Columbus, etc) would never have gone into orbit.@Lurid: A model of Skylon was right at the front of the QEII conference room.@Andrew: Virgin Galactic is going through the process of licensing in the US. Once that is achieved, I am told the UK will ensure the regulations are in place to allow SpaceShipTwo to launch from Britain. The present Labour administration has promised this, as has the current Conservative opposition.@Callisto: BBC bloggers do not know the moderators and have no contact with them. This ensures transparency, but it also means I can do nothing to chivvy them along. Sorry.@PeechyKean et al. I am in Paris today for a conference, and I'm writing this from inside Esa HQ. A number of people here are asking me if they should pronounce it 'Uke-sar' or 'Uck-sar'. I think this is going to stick. Wed 24 Mar 2010 15:34:51 GMT+1 callisto We are now at 1420 and there are three comments waiting moderation - the earliest from 1311!Come on Jon, what's the hold-up? Wed 24 Mar 2010 14:21:17 GMT+1 Andrew Jonathan - are there any plans for UKSA to take a more pro-active role in getting spaceports in the UK particularly for Virgin craft? Wed 24 Mar 2010 13:36:01 GMT+1 callisto 13 Roy,This is sadly a trueism. If one looks at ESA, there are more British technologists and managers there than our home 'agency' will ever have. This will not change (owing to taxation regime, work conditions, work place, nature of tasks, and the like), which will inevitably mean that the UK agency being full of quasi-politicians and ruling party yes-men.Got a better idea for the name - UISCE - pronounced Whisky UNITEDKINGDOM INSTITUTE for SCIENTIFIC COSMIC EXPLORATION.They should have asked me .... Wed 24 Mar 2010 13:22:30 GMT+1 knowles2 It better than nothing but there needs to be a lot more done. One thing I notice is there no aims or goals for the agency, there no create fully reusable satelite launch vechicle or a spaceport in the united Kingodm, or any new money or investment in Reation engines , may be with a long term goal of a fully relaunchable an reuauable orbital vehicles within 20-30 yearsor land a man on the moon goals something for the agency to work, instead of a arbitory 10% of the markets, which actually limit the agency, we should be aim for complete dominination of the space industry. Also I was surprise that there was not statuary space minister post created within government either.Also really the entire agency budget need to be increase fours fold atleast in the next fews years an it needs a strong leader who is going say what on his mind an fight other departmentsan media for money an resources to be pure into space. It also needs a new name an a new logo, I like neither at the moment, I thought there was going to be a competition for, an I doubt the UKSA was the best that we could come up with. Wed 24 Mar 2010 13:11:49 GMT+1 The Realist Now if only our governments realised that money invested in space brings back profit.Anyway, my name for it would have been BASE! The British Agency of Space Exploration!In such things, 'The' and 'of' are usually left out, and the name is fitting for the role.So lets see a quick name change before it will cost to much and lets see cuts from elsewhere go little into BASE! Wed 24 Mar 2010 12:55:13 GMT+1 jas This discussion highlights the problems of mis-using words. To me, an acronym has always been, simply, a pronounceable abbreviation (Nasa, Unesco etc). If people start using the word 'acronym' to sound cool and to mean ANY abbreviation, how then do we describe an abbreviation that forms a word? If is HAS to be "something-Space Agency" so as to copy everyone else (sigh), how about TUSA (The Uk Space Agency)? Unfortunately for us, GB, "Brit", UK and so on do not fit well in nice-sounding words. Wed 24 Mar 2010 11:29:14 GMT+1 Xe135 In all honesty i don't really see the point. We're not going to spend much on space. Never have never will. We should just collaborate with India or Brazil. We do the payload, they do the launch system. Wed 24 Mar 2010 11:14:20 GMT+1 Roy I'm in agreement with those who are fearing more of the bureaucratic same. Take this quote from the BNSA site: "We are frequently asked how people get to work at BNSC headquarters. The answer is that most of our 45 staff joined BNSC through the Civil Service, or are on secondment from industry or one of our partners. We rarely recruit individuals directly."This is nothing to be proud of, and I hope the UKSA, if it truly is a muscular organisation, opens its doors and tries to recruit the greatest rather than the greyest. There is no shortage of people with a love and fascination for space exploration. Wed 24 Mar 2010 11:03:42 GMT+1 callisto We should be thankful that we have, at last, a homogenous agency for all the different components and show a united front to the World. How did we pronounce BNSC? UKSA is predictable, but what else could we have called it? The logo is dead right. Staid, boring, bureacratic and forgettable (you won't notice it when its gone).The amount of money on the table shores up support for Harwell (face saving pennies) and gives a measly 3million to pay for a technology demonstrator. All surface tosh. If this is the leadership we can expect, forget UK in space. We must get serious.The way to show intent is to double investment in ESA, stump up cash for joint missions with CNES, ATI and DLR (that's where the balls lie in Euro space), forget manned space, initiate robotic exploration and focus on high-value earth observation returns.What happened to Spaceguard? There was a time when UK was going to put a space system in place to give early warning of cosmic hit-and-run and come up with mitigating technology.What happened to support for Gemini, ESO and other observatories?Its all a sham. HMG (all parties) has no intention of getting real in space science and this will be one more false dawn, unless we get private money invested in big programmes, or through partner agencies. Our space technology business already belongs to Johnny-foreigner. Get them to pay. Wed 24 Mar 2010 10:08:25 GMT+1 Tom @ 3. At 06:03am on 24 Mar 2010, GraphisWhat about SWAT that’s not the coolest name for a law enforcement agency. Wed 24 Mar 2010 10:08:19 GMT+1 JR I read the report last night, and my head immediately read UKSA in the same way you would read FBI, not as if it was some kind of word, like 'nasa'.Anyway, you bing up the vital point of investment in the research and university budgets being cut, because all good economists know the best thing to do coming out of a recession is to cut investment (!)Hopefully these plans are scaled down somewhat, and best of luck to UKSA Wed 24 Mar 2010 09:48:49 GMT+1 Nick @ #1NASA isn't involved. This an article about the UKSA with a little about ESA. That his profile pic has a shuttle on it is completely irrelevant to this story.I've never seen anyone robbing NASA of credit for their space program; everyone knows they have been the pre-eminent space power for the last 40 years. However, it does look like that position is increasingly a thing of the past. With the already obsolete STS nearing it's way overdue demise and no replacement in development China, and even India, are shortly going to overtake the US in space capability, nevermind Europe and Russia.It's an unfortunate position to be in as I think we may be due an explosion in the space industry. The next economic bubble needs something real to ride and personally I think it will be space related manufacturing industries. I hope the UK government recognises that we have a small but advanced industry here and that supporting it, either directly or by upping our contribution to ESA, could seed a larger scale hi-tech manufacturing industry, something the UK economy desparately needs after losing most of it's manufacturing in the last 20 years. Possibly the UK oil industry is a fair analogy, but unlike oil space isn't going to go away. Wed 24 Mar 2010 08:22:25 GMT+1 GrumpyOldMan The top graphic visually does not say Space. It could be clip art used for UK inflation or the latest jobless figures. Uninspired typography. Do you know how much this cost? Mediocre in everyway. Wed 24 Mar 2010 08:08:13 GMT+1 PeechyKean This sounds fantasic news, but Uck-sa sounds horrible. How about Uke-sar, as in 'you' sound from ukulele. Wed 24 Mar 2010 07:45:53 GMT+1 asybot looks a lot like really old ussr propaganda posters, even in the US the posters (and in Canada) more and more billboards and posters are looking like this. And by the way I love the propulsion system, the ion drive, on that sat you are referring to (GPS etc.). Oh right the song was about ground control to major Tom!! (sorry Tim) Wed 24 Mar 2010 07:08:45 GMT+1 Richard At least they didn't call it Space UK Agency. I'm shocked that there isn't more press interest in the flagship of domestic space R&D: Reaction Engines. Wed 24 Mar 2010 06:45:32 GMT+1 Jezz Bowden Because Ben when it comes to anything attached to the military, especially research, the Americans are very reluctant to share anything quoting "National Security" at you. So sharing in technology tends to go in one direction. The way they save money is to put projects out to tender mostly for American companies though a few are done abroad if it's done in conjunction with ESA, given there is no extra money involved the creation of UKSA is simply an administrative exercise designed to streamline our miniscule efforts in Space related industry. The 600m cut in Science RnD in our Universities and research centres would seem to underline this cost cutting approach. So while I love the idea of a UK Space Agency until there is significant funding for it it will remain little more than a small umbrella with a Union jack printed on it! Wed 24 Mar 2010 06:15:53 GMT+1 Graphis Actually, as frivolous as it appears on the surface, acronyms help enormously in the general perception of an organisation, and the UK just doesn't seem able to get it right. ("UK" for starters!) UKSA is ugly, no two ways about it. So is SOCA (Serious Organised Crime Agency, but sounds like a Caribbean dance: can you imagine armed police confronting a gang of criminals, and shouting "SOCA! Freeze!"? Doesn't quite have the ring of "FBI", does it?) UKSA doesn't sound "nice", like NASA does.As for the logo, yes, it's very 'Dad's Army', but the people who designed it were probably not even born when DA finished. Personally, I wouldn't have made the lines straight, but curved, following more the actual trajectory of a rocket/curvature of the earth. This is the sort of logo that looks alright on top of a sheet of headed paper, rather than stitched to an astronauts uniform, and I suspect that the former is where it will mostly appear, as one thing we do excel at is bureaucracy. Wed 24 Mar 2010 06:03:15 GMT+1 Ben Pay no attention to "Kent". I'd propose bringing NASA and the UKSA together to go back to the Moon. The US problem is funding, and if the UK can help provide it, then I think we can share technology and send one of your guys/gals up there. We already have a relatively intricate military relationship, why not attach space research and exploration as well? We both want to land on the moon again anyway. Wed 24 Mar 2010 04:53:17 GMT+1 Kent If this is supposed to be about a European and UK focus on space, you should probably cut out the US Space Shuttle from your picture. Or does your focus involve robbing the US of credit for exploits in space and giving credit to the UK and Europe? I've noticed the BBC tends to do that in articles about space exploration. You always make certain you emphasize the "European" and "UK" contribution but the the fact that NASA is American, or that NASA is even involved in something, seems to be the last thing you care to mention. Wed 24 Mar 2010 04:08:33 GMT+1