Today's much heralded launch of the UK Space Agency has happened. The launch took place at the QEII Conference Centre; a venue that seems to stop information escaping it. So far there have been a few photos from Brian Cox, some tweets, and an article by Jonathan Amos about a 'Muscular' UK Space Agency. UKSA (uck-sa?) has a logo which does look a little like Dad's Army. It doesn't yet have a website which I'd have expected to go live with this press conference.
For me, the launch has been a let down. We were led to believe that UKSA would be a NASA for the UK. The reality is far from it. The graphic in Jonathan Amos's article shows how much less we spend compared to Germany, France and Italy. NASA has a budget of something like $16 billion per year. The US has about 6.4 times the GDP of the UK and 5 times the population but spends 40 times more on NASA (not including relevant NSF grants) than we spend on space.
I want to have an fantastic, inspiring, space agency. I want us to invest in it like we mean it. I want a NASA.
I feel as though we've got a refurbished, second-hand agency that might collapse as soon as it leaves the launchpad and never make it past the General Election. Come on UK. You can do so much better.