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  • Nicholas Ward

Essay Competition Winner Forecasting the Future of the Space Industry

Guest essay by Nicholas Ward, who won our 'Future of the UK Space Industry' Essay competition.

Giant-Leap is extremely grateful to Nicholas and all of the entrants to this competition for their entries. This Op Ed piece was written by Nicholas Ward for Giant-Leap.Space but not on their behalf. This article has not gone through the fact-checking process that our news does, nor do the views represented necessarily reflect the views of Giant-Leap.

The UK Space Agency is a relatively new enterprise that is starting to take flight, and compared to other agencies around the world, the UK Space Agency is small. However, this does not mean it can’t compete or shouldn’t compete with the rest of the world.

As a governing body, the UK Space Agency provides the perfect mantle for British citizens to take one giant leap into the final frontier – space. Nestled alongside the UK Space Agency there are many other small enterprises that work in partnership to provide the services, products and processes required to get rockets into space. Businesses such as Satellite Applications Catapult who are responsible for technology innovation to foster economic growth. Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) who help connect businesses with the right people with expertise is another fine example. There are many SME’s (small medium enterprises) and organisations that are contributing to the opening of doors for British space exploration through the UK Space Industry. There are many opportunities for STEM field businesses to expand outwards and reap the benefits of space. The knowledge that has been obtained over generations should be utilized for the greater good. As our society grows and the population increases, we must take the responsibility of moving onward and upward. This can be achieved through small goals at first like the recently commissioned government research for ‘Space Solar Power Stations’.

The UK has hundreds of years of engineering knowledge (forged in the furnaces of the Industrial Revolution) that can be utilized and streamlined towards the common goal of space exploration. Lessons learned over the years have accrued and compounded to make the UK one of the main nations at the forefront of research today in engineering fields.

Every person who has an invaluable idea should be given the opportunity to explore that idea and allow it to foster with the help of local SME’s. Whether it be ideas for new rocket propulsion technology or a new way to shield astronauts from interstellar radiation, an idea needs the follow up and backing of business and funding to be successful. The challenges of space have already been partially overcome to an extent that we should be proud of. However, there are many more obstacles that we must still overcome to achieve the goal of continuous human space travel throughout our solar system.

The pages of the future history books will be left partially blank if we as a nation do not step up to the responsibility of mobilising humans and industry into space. Our slice of the celestial pie remains to be consumed and we will miss out on that if we do not fix our eyes towards the stars and our minds towards the challenges that present themselves. No matter what walk of life someone is from, a British citizen should be allowed the opportunity to help advance the UK Space Industry. Lessons in history tells us that humans can cooperate peacefully towards a common goal if we allow ourselves to focus on the sorts of challenges that are universally faced in space travel. In this era of humanity, there is no greater goal than the advancement of our society into space for our species and arguably for our nation as we seek to redefine ourselves in the first full century post empire.

Now is the time to live our dreams, now is the time to pursue our ideas and now is the time to take our nation’s first step into the unknown. The UK Space Industry will be a key player in this advancement because throughout the history of Great Britain, we have had a huge impact on the world and we therefore owe it to our predecessors to continue the British legacy of exploration and enterprise. Let us not get slowed down in trivial affairs or divert our attention away from our responsibility as a nation. Let us strive forwards with open arms and big hearts towards securing Britain’s place among the stars!

If you like the idea of being published by Giant-Leap then look out for our next competition, or contact us directly to have your voice heard! We can't guarantee that we will publish everything, but we will certainly read everything that you send through!

This essay was kindly submitted by Nicholas Ward who is an entrepreneur with a Business and Enterprise Management degree. Nicholas also shares a passionate support for the Space Industry, and as with many of us, is particularly excited by the successes of SpaceX in recent weeks. Nicholas is laser focused on promoting the UK to play a bigger role on the global space industry stage.

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