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The UK Space strategy

Speaker: Adam Amara

“Space technologies are an important part of modern life. Everything from the way we navigate our way through a new town to how we monitor our natural environments has been revolutionised because of space. In science, we can now build and launch incredible telescopes, like JWST, that let us look deep into the cosmos as we try to unravel the mysteries of the Universe.” 

“The UK is one of the world leaders in the space domain and last year the government launched our first UK National Space Strategy. This lays out an ambitious program for how we can grow space activities in our county and why it's important. For those of us working in space, this is a very exciting time. One of the important things to realise is that the Isle of Wight, Hampshire and Surrey are at the heart of the UK space sector. This means that our regions will play a special role if we as a nation are to deliver the ambitious goals of the National Space Strategy.” 

“In this talk, I'll talk give a broad overview of space activities in the UK and I'll go into detail on Mission Space (#missionspace). Mission Space is a University of Portsmouth initiative to boost the space domain to make the UK a great space nation. At the University of Portsmouth, we are developing plans for a new research centre called PRISM (Portsmouth Research Institute for Space Missions). PRISM facility will act as a focal point for all university space activities. Our main aim is to enable deep meaningful academic-industry collaborations and boost our space teaching across broad parts of our portfolio.” 

“PRISM will also be a part of a new regional space cluster called Space South Central. This is now the biggest UK space cluster and will be anchored by three academic institutions the University of Portsmouth, the University of Surrey and soon the University of Southampton. The space domain is exciting and the next 10 years can be transformational for the country. Our region is important to these plans and the opportunities that they open up for our industries, economy and research are boundless.” 


About the Speaker 

Since August 2020, Professor Adam Amara has been the Director of Portsmouth University’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) and has also been recently appointed as Chair of the UK Space Agency’s Science Programme Advisory Committee. 

After receiving his PhD from the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge in 2005 and Master in Physics from the University of York, Professor Amara joined the ICG as a Royal Society Wolfson Fellow in the summer of 2019. Before arriving at Portsmouth, he was Senior Scientist at ETH Zürich, a public research institute in Switzerland. 

Adam’s primary science area is cosmology where he studies cosmic structure in the late-time Universe, which is an era dominated by dark matter and dark energy. Cosmology is a mature and exciting field, where advances are driven by experimental programs. He has worked closely with the European Space Agency and contributed to what has become their Euclid Space Mission, “to map the geometry of the Universe and better understand the mysterious dark matter and dark energy, which make up most of the energy budget of the cosmos”. Euclid is due to launch in 2023. Also due for “first light” in 2023 is the Vera C. Rubin Observatory (formerly the LSST) in Chile. 

If there are new clues to fundamental physics to be discovered through all these ambitious experiments, such as the Dark Energy Survey (DES), Euclid and the Rubin Observatory, then Adam Amara aims to be at the forefront of these ground-breaking discoveries at the ICG in Portsmouth. Moreover, he is mentoring a new generation of cosmologists who can shed new light on these questions in the fundamental physics of our times and help them to thrive in this exciting field.