UK SPACE POLICY
The Committee has decided to undertake an inquiry into a number of aspects of UK space policy. It proposes to hear oral evidence in the course of next year, and invites submissions from organisations and individuals, if possible by the end of February 2000.
The Committee does not wish to pre-determine the exact scope of the inquiry or the content of submissions. It is however likely that the Committee will take as its starting point the UK National Space Strategy published in August 1999, and will examine a range of policy and implementation issues arising, including -
(i) the political, financial, legal and administrative infrastructure, including the role, status and financing of the British National Space Centre: the balance between ESA and national programmes: the future relationship between European Union institutions and the European Space Agency: and the international organisational and legal framework for space policy;
(ii) decisions taken or pending on UK participation in major ESA or other programmes, including Mars Express (Beagle 2), Galileo satellite navigation and ARTES telecoms research: as well as areas of activity such as launchers where the UK is reviewing possible participation;
(iii) the prospects and problems of the United Kingdom space industry, including its competitiveness: the degree and nature of funding for R & D: export performance and potential: and raising finance and insurance;
(iv) links between the space science base and commercial applications:
(v) the environmental impact of the exploitation of space, including the problem of space debris.
The Committee does not intend that the military use of space as referred to at paras 78-83 of the National Space Strategy should be a primary focus of the inquiry, but is willing to consider programmes in areas such as meteorology and navigation or communications satellites which raise joint civil-military issues: nor does it propose to make issues of primarily scientific concern a principal focus.
The Committee’s inquiry is not intended to cover ground-based astronomy or cometary/asteroid impacts on earth.
For further information please contact the Committee staff on 0171 219 5469/5778/5663 Previous Reports and Press Notices (from Session 1996-97 onward) can be viewed on the Internet at: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/t&ihome.htm
Note to Editors
The Members of the Committee are:
Mr Martin O'Neill MP (Chairman) (Lab, Ochil)
For enquiries: Telephone: 0171-219 5777/5779