The Scientific Preparatory Academy for Cosmic Explorers (SPACE) is a nascent undergraduate space university that fills a gap in the provision of space education. It will provide an undergraduate programme dedicated to multidisciplinary international space education and hands-on research.
This new academy has been established on the Isle of Man due to its favourable business environment and the Government’s interest in developing space technology. Tim Craine, Director of Space Commerce at the Department of Economic Development, confirmed his department’s commitment to this niche sector:
“Over the last decade, the Isle of Man has been pro-actively developing its space industry and is now able to boast a cluster of space related companies based on the Island including satellite operators, insurers, manufacturers, space tourism, global space related not for profit organisations, space related academic institutions and many more. We believe that the Island has built a solid reputation and is now known and respected around the world as a centre of excellence for space related activities.”
SPACE will focus on both technology and policy as a multidisciplinary approach to reducing barriers to spaceflight. SPACE is working on the development of new technologies for space exploration including an innovative asteroid mitigation technique, an exosolar planet or asteroid detection space telescope, and Deep Space Navigation sensor development, necessary for attaining position and attitude during interplanetary travel. SPACE is also involved in the drafting of mining laws and space ownership rights to overcome the current hurdles which stand in the way of space economic development SPACE also as a longer-term education objective, to become a space university. An international space conference taking place on the Isle of Man in July, as well as a space retreat in the near future, are both important steps towards this objective.
The conference is entitled SPACE: from Foray to Habitation and will be held at the Sefton Hotel in Douglas, from 09-10 July, 2012. It has already attracted numerous high profile speakers and delegates. It is supported by notable Isle of Man aerospace companies Space Isle, Mansat and Excalibur Almaz, as well as the national research institution of Saudi Arabia, KACST.
As the conference title implies, delegates will primarily explore and call for a united effort to colonise the solar system. The agenda features an exploration of three themes: i) requirements for space education, ii) technical barriers to a space faring civilisation, and iii) legal and institutional barriers to space habitation.
Conference organisers include Professor David Hyland, innovative educator and optical interferometry and asteroid mitigation expert, Roy Tucker, famed asteroid discoverer and electro-optical engineer, space lawyer Virgiliu Pop, space entrepreneur Shen Ge, and aerospace engineers Hyerim Kim, Neha Satak, and Darkhan Alimzhanov. Conference delegates include Chris Stott of ManSat, Art Dula, space entrepreneur and space law expert, Dumitriu-Dorin Prunariu, former cosmonaut and head of UNCUPUOS, Rick Tumlinson, space visionary and entrepreneur, Tim Craine, Director of Space Commerce on the Isle of Man, and Dr. Haithem Altwaijry, Director of the Space Research Institute of Saudi Arabia.
Isle of Man based company, Excalibur Almaz, will host a social event for conference delegates at its Jurby aircraft hangar. The space station and capsule hardware located in the hangar has already garnered significant interest and will undoubtedly do the same for all conference attendees.
Despite the conference agenda primarily targeting professionals working in the space industry, representatives from the Isle of Man business and legal sector are highly encouraged to attend in order to foster future collaboration with international space companies and educators as well as SPACE itself. Due to the generosity of the Isle of Man based sponsors the conference organisers are able to offer free registration which includes the social event provided by Excalibur Almaz. Registration details are online at www.spaceconf.com.