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Experts from Space Park Leicester to join colleagues at UK Space Conference in Belfast

Professor Richard Ambrosi will join a contingent of Space Park Leicester staff and industry partners in Belfast

Academics and professionals from Space Park Leicester will be on hand at the 2023 UK Space Conference in Belfast next week to showcase the University of Leicester’s long-standing heritage of space science, engineering and space instrumentation product development. 

A team of engineers, scientists and space policy experts, led by Professor Richard Ambrosi, Executive Director of Space Park Leicester, along with resident partners including the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), Rolls-Royce, Satellite Applications Catapult, CGI, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and the ESA Business Incubation Centre, will represent the University of Leicester’s vibrant academic and industrial space community in Belfast at the ICC.

The UK Space Conference (Nov 21-23) is well established as the most important and influential event for space in the UK.

This biennial event brings together the UK and international space community from across government, industry, and academia to exchange ideas, share plans, develop relationships, and seek inspiration to thrive in the new space age.

It will feature plenary and breakout track sessions, short talks and feature dedicated innovation, poster, small business and regional zones.

The University of Leicester has a long record of space research, dating back more than 60 years. During that time the University’s experts have been involved in more than 20 launched missions and there has been at least one Leicester-built instrument operating in space since 1967.

There are currently ten Leicester instruments in space, including the Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer (MIXS) currently onboard ESA’s BepiColombo mission to Mercury, and the UK-led Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) for the James Webb Space Telescope. Respectively, these instruments and missions will transform our understanding of the Solar System, our galaxy and the Universe.

Professor Martin Barstow, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Space Park Leicester and a speaker at the Conference said: “The UK Space Conference of 2023 is set to assemble a gathering of approximately 1,600 influential individuals, encompassing decision makers, experts, government officials, and innovators hailing from various corners of the globe. This exceptional occasion offers an exclusive platform for interacting with leaders in the industry and exchanging insights and plans for the ever-evolving landscape of the space sector.

The Professor of Astrophysics & Space Science continued: “I’m thrilled to be attending to highlight the rich heritage of the University of Leicester and the cutting-edge capabilities found at Space Park Leicester, which promises to revolutionise the approach to conceiving, designing, operating, and manufacturing space instrumentation, technology and satellites. “Current priorities include the delivery of several instruments to the European Space Agency such as the Soft X-ray Telescope for the Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer Mission (SMILE). In addition, the Leicester team are developing a number of new technologies and instruments for a host of future space science missions.

The outer solar system, Mars surface, lunar surface, UV and X-ray astronomy are among the themes occupying the scientists and engineers at the University of Leicester. Enabling technologies include high performance sensors and detectors, a one-of-a-kind double-walled isolator for the NASA-ESA Mars sample return mission and radioisotope power technologies for space science and exploration.

Join Martin Barstow on the following panel discussions:

‘Why do space clusters matter?’
Tuesday, 21 November, 12:00 – 12:40 (Auditorium)

Geo-Return: Maximising entities potential in the ESA ecosystem
Tuesday, 21 November, 13:40 – 14:40 (Auditorium)

Join Professor Mark Sims on the panel discussion:

How do we build “one of the most innovative and attractive space economies in the world”?
Wednesday, 22 November, 10:00 – 11:15 (Auditorium)

Join the Midlands Space Cluster at the following workshop with Satellite Applications Catapult and UK Space Agency:

The UK Space Ecosystem: What can your space cluster do for you?
Thursday 23 November, 12:00 – 12:40 (Room 2a)

Here’s where to find our resident partners:

  • University of Leicester & Space Park Leicester – K4
  • National Centre for Earth Observation – K6, K4
  • CGI – D3
  • Rolls-Royce – C11
  • Satellite Applications Catapult – C2, A2, A4
  • National Nuclear Laboratory – G1
  • ESA Business Incubation Centre United Kingdom – G3

For more information about the University of Leicester visit