A rocket flies through the clouds

The free event in Portsmouth aims to unite businesses and organisations across the region.

19 April 2022

5 min read

Guest speakers from NASA and the UK Space Agency will be at an event next week to launch the University of Portsmouth’s ‘Mission Space’ strategy.

The free event in Portsmouth on Tuesday 26 April aims to unite businesses and organisations across the region - giving them the chance to be part of an international market that has the power to solve universal problems on earth.

Director of the University’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, Professor Adam Amara, said: “The global space industry is booming and the UK has strong ambitions to make its mark as a space nation. The University echoes this ambition and is working on an exciting strategy ‘Mission Space’ to bring together key players across the South of England and drive growth in the sector.”

Keynote speakers include Jeffrey Booth, Manager at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which developed America’s first Earth-orbiting science satellite, created the first successful interplanetary spacecraft, and sent robotic missions to the solar system.

Jeffrey works on the development of astrophysics, heliophysics (physics of the Sun, and how it influences the very nature of space), and other space-based scientific missions, from the formulation phase through implementation and operations.


The global space industry is booming

Caroline Harper, Head of Space Science at the UK Space Agency, will also be giving a keynote speech and other experts from the University and local businesses will discuss the latest in space technology, exploration and innovation at the event, which is chaired by the former universities and science minister David Willetts.

Professor Amara said: “The University of Portsmouth has world-leading astronomy research and innovation in space technology, and it’s an exciting time to apply this expertise in space observation to realise the many benefits to our world.

“Space activity is an integral part of our daily lives – we use it for satnav, earth observation, google maps and running apps. It can also be used to predict natural disasters and combat climate change. We can even use algorithms for detecting exploding stars to spot changes in moles to detect early warning signs for skin cancer.

“There are exciting opportunities for growth and new partnerships in the space sector and we want to play a key role in supporting and growing our region’s space industry to ensure that the future of space is thriving.”


It’s an exciting time to apply the University's expertise in space observation to realise the many benefits to our world.

Adam Amara, Professor of Cosmology

The University already hosts the South Coast Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications (SCCoE), created to help businesses and academics explore and exploit satellite technologies in areas as diverse as healthcare, construction, tourism and agriculture. The centre has recently been awarded funding from the UK Space Agency and Satellite Applications Catapult to continue for another year, enabling regional business investment and sector growth aligned with the national space strategy. 

The event is being held at the Village Hotel Portsmouth on 26 April. If you’re attending, please book tickets via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mission-space-registration-254664086137