(Sen) - Space agencies and companies are gathering this week at the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) in Hampshire, England.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is using the event to highlight how space benefits our daily lives on Earth and how space science and exploration is stimulating economic growth.
ESA will show how important satellites are to our everday life, with empahsis on its CryoSat ice mission and Swarm, the next mission to be launched. ESA's satellites have provided a much better understanding of climate change and weather.
ESA will also show how its Business Incubation Centres aim to help entrepreneurs with space business ideas.
The FIA is open for trade attendees Monday to Friday and then open to the public on Saturday and Sunday (tickets are required).
Thursday 12 July will focus on growth of the UK space industry. "Futures Day" is on Friday 13 July when astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Tim Peake will talk to students about careers in the space sector. The astronauts will also be speaking on Saturday 14 July which is Public Day. Paolo Nespoli will talk about his time aboard the International Space Station between December 2010 and May 2011. Tim Peake will be speaking about his astronaut training including his recent experience at NASA's Neemo underwater base.
The Space Zone at the Farnborough International Airshow 2012. Credit: ESA/S. Corvaja
The UK Space Agency will also be at Farnborough and is hosting the space day conference on Tuesday 10 July. On April 26 2012 the UK Space Agency celebrated 50 years since it became the third space-faring nation with the launch of its Ariel-1 satellite. The space industry accounts for tens of thousands of jobs in the UK. David Willetts, the space minister, told attendees at the FIA today that the space sector contributes over £9 billion to the UK economy.
The UK is a member of the European Space Agency and contributes to the planet's space economy through science and innovation. The UK has a particularly strong reputation in satellite technology with companies such as Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL). Although the UK has not yet launched manned spaceflights, there are innovative British companies involved in developing spacecraft such as Reaction Engines Limited which is developing a spaceplane called Skylon to be powered by revolutionary new engine technology that the company is working on. Reaction Engines Ltd will also be exhibiting at FIA 2012.
UK Space Agency stand at the Farnborough International Airshow 2012. Credit: UK Space Agency
Space companies exhibiting at FIA include Virgin Galactic which was recently awarded a license by the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to launch powered test flights of its sub-orbital spaceship. The company hopes its first powered test flights will take place later this year.
FIA is organised by Farnborough International Limited, a subsidiary of ADS, a trade organisation promoting UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries.