|Author NASA Rocket suspended from a balloon Public domain|
In Celebrating Tecwyn Roberts I wrote how a young school student had been inspired to study natural sciences by the visit of Tecwyn Roberts to her junior school. That student was Nia Roberts and she will be one of the speakers at the Menai Science Park's World Intellectual Property Day celebrations for which you can register here.
Nia, like Tecwyn, left Wales to pursue a career in science. She went to Munich where she was an examiner for the European Patent Office. Children at the school where Tecwyn and Nia studied now have a choice. They can study and carry out research at the world's great universities or work for the world's leading companies and institutions or they can set up successful science-based businesses or find high-skilled and well-paid employment in their own country.
According to the UK Space Agency's press release of 13 April 2022, employment in the British space industry grew from 44,040 in 2019 to 46,995 in 2020. It is now a £16.5 billion industry. Employment in the sector more than doubled in Wales from 415 to 1,109. British expertise in space lies primarily in the design and operation of small, low earth orbit satellites. They are used for weather forecasting, remote sensing, communications and many other applications.
Until now, British satellite owners have had to rely on the US and other foreign governments to launch their equipment into orbit but that is about to change. As I said in The Space Industry in Wales. legislation was enacted in 2018 to enable space vehicles to be launched from the UK. The UK Space Agency has recently published Launch UK, A Guide to the UK's Commercial Spaceports which lists the UK's launch facilities.
One of those sites is Spaceport Snowdonia which is based at Llanbedr near Harlech, We are very lucky to welcome Mr David Young who is the manager of the aerospace centre and Llanbedr airport. There are three competing technologies to propel a rocket into space: a multistage solid or liquid fuel rocket which is the Scottish approach; using an aeroplane to lift the rocket into high altitude which is the Cornish approach or strapping the rocket to a balloon which is the elegant, Welsh approach. David will discuss all the facilities that are available at Llanbedr and what it needs to grab a lion's share of the launch technology market.
Tuesday's celebrations will be a webinar between 12:30 and 14:00 at which Nia and David will speak. There will also be an all-day exhibition in the science park to celebrate the creativity, enterprise and innovation of the young people of Wales.