About

SPAN provides a voice for space-related research in the UK in the fields of Earth Observation, Space Engineering, Space Science and Exploration. Each of these areas are represented by a working group which provides a forum for the discussion of issues arising in the community. SPAN also hosts a Data and Analysis Working Group which overlaps heavily with Earth Observation and Space Science and Exploration.

New additions to SPAN are welcome, and we collaborate and interact with other research organisations and networks in the space sector.

Earth Observation

The ability to observe our planet from space has led to a huge growth in the understanding of our planet, its climate and its resources. Earth Observation covers all aspects of studying the Earth from space including the development of instrumentation, its operation and the processing, analysis, publication and application of its data.

Space Engineering

The use of technology in space and in support of space assets involves many novel challenges associated with the launch, environment and remoteness. Space Engineering addresses these issues and, like any other branch of engineering, brings forward new and novel technologies that enables our exploitation of space for both commercial and scientific benefit.

Space Science and Exploration

Our understanding of the universe is enhanced by observing above the atmosphere and in the close proximity of celestial bodies (such as within a magnetosphere, on the surface of planets, near the Sun or in orbit around a comet). Space Science covers diverse subjects including Astronomy and Astrophysics, Planetary Science, Solar Physics and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. Space Science also includes the measurement of fundamental physical constants from space (such as the equivalence principle) and gravitational effects.

Data and Analysis

Data is King! We live in a time of “Big Data”, whether it is Petabytes of information generated from an experiment at CERN, or from the Gaia galactic survey, or from fusing data from multiple sources such as drones, aircraft, satellites and monitoring stations for air quality and environmental monitoring. How we collect, process, analyse and store data is key to making great progress.

Structure of SPAN

SPAN Structure Diagram

Key Stakeholders

SPAN Key Stakeholder Diagram

13 April 2021

UK Space Science: a summary of the research community and its benefits

A new report has been published on SPAN's website. Have a look at our Publications page.

03 March 2021

Time to change our relationship with space?

Chris Lee discusses future aspirations for space exploration. https://room.eu.com/article/time-to-change-our-relationship-with-space

08 December 2020

Major funding successes for innovative UK Space Scientists

21 UK organisations have been awarded a share of over £7 million funding from the UK Space Agency to put UK at the forefront of advances in space innovation. 13 of these are either led or supported by UK space scientists. The cash injection is...