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October 7, 2020

UK government launches first space census

By Ellen Daniel

The UK government has launched the first ever space census in order to better understand diversity in the UK space sector.

This comes during World Space Week, an annual event which this year is focused on how satellites have improved our lives.

The space census will collect anonymous information on industry professionals, including age, gender, race and sexuality, in order to understand the space sector job market.

Over the next decade, the UK space industry aims to create 30,000 new jobs, and achieving this requires a skilled and diverse workforce.

The Space Growth Partnership, a network of government, industry and academia that informs national space policy and sector strategy , will use the information gathered to help improve equality, diversity and inclusion in the sector.

The census will be carried out by the Space Skills Alliance and will be sponsored by the University of Leicester. It will run until the end of the year.

Last week, the UK Space Agency announced that £5m of new Government funding to support “UK trade, science, and security” with other countries including Australia, France, Japan and the US.

Graham Turnock, chief executive of the UK Space Agency said that in order for the sector to grow, it will need to promote diversity.

“The UK has bold ambitions in space, but in order to grow our sector further we need to properly champion diversity, equality of opportunity and make sure our space businesses truly reflect our society as a whole,” he said.

“We need to drive change for the future of our sector in a way that is not just us ticking a box and this census will play a vital role in helping us understand the demographics of space in the UK and, most importantly, what the challenges are.”

Read more: Large Space Test Chamber makes 5,800km journey to boost UK space industry.


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