Space: Advancing the Future

Presented by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Space highlights of 2023

Space technologies play a vital role in the smooth running of our day. Thanks to spacecraft, we can find our way and communicate anywhere in the world, discover the mysteries of the Universe, manage resources and respond to humanitarian disasters. It’s also a vital tool for the armed forces. The space sector is booming and 2023 has been a busy year and in this programme we take a look at some of the highlights.

Partner films

Investing in the space sector

The use of technology in space is becoming increasingly more important to our global economy and the way we live our lives. Advent International is investing in the space sector to help accelerate innovation, supporting the UK and Allied Nations to remain competitive as well as sustaining long-term growth for the future.

How satellites are changing Kenyan children’s lives

As one of the leading K.A band satellite providers, Avanti Communication’s global mission is to connect the unconnected, and their work is changing the lives of school children in remote areas of Kenya.

The next-gen satellites saving lives

The increasing influence of climate change on our weather systems is undeniable, highlighting the crucial role that forecasting plays in enabling communities to prepare for severe weather events. We speak with Phil Evans, Director General and Jenny Rourke, Head of Real Time Services & System Operations at EUMETSAT, about its new generation of satellites, that will deliver more detailed information to weather services and potentially save lives.

The battery with hundreds of years of power

Any future exploration into deep space will require a new approach to heat and power. The National Nuclear Laboratory is developing what is called a space battery with enough juice in it to keep going for hundreds of years. We went to Space Park Leicester to meet the team behind it.

Northumbria University announces £50 million centre

Already one of the UK’s leading universities in solar and space physics, Northumbria University has set out its ambition to become a world-leader with the announcement of NESST – a new £50 million centre dedicated to groundbreaking research and development projects, training the next generation of space scientists and bolstering the UK’s position in the global space economy.

Growing our civilisation with satellites

Satellites up in space are helping our civilisation grow through the technological advantages they can offer us. Printech Circuits Laboratories Ltd manufacture and design specialist antennas used to connect Earth with space, allowing more access to communication around the globe.

Making space exploration accessible and sustainable

By the end of the decade, growth in the space industry is expected to multiply by six, bringing more space stations and a huge influx in lunar missions. The Exploration Company is among the fastest growing space-tech companies in Europe and aims to make exploration accessible and sustainable with its modular and reusable space vehicle, Nyx.

Thought leader films

The future of satellite observation

Earth observing satellites are an integral part of tackling climate change, and for years have been providing scientists and decision makers with facts on how our planet is changing. The European Space Agency is playing a pivotal role in satellite missions. We sat down with Simonetta Cheli, ESA's Director of Earth Observation Programmes, to discuss the history of earth observing satellites, how they are empowering climate action and ESA’s vision for the future when it comes to satellite observation.

Approved by the European Space Agency.

Sustainable use of space

Space debris is the result of humans launching objects from earth, which remain in orbit. In a world where space activity is ever increasing, these pose a risk of collision which could disrupt critical services we all rely on every day. The UK Space Agency is driving the safe and sustainable use of space and raising awareness of the fragility of its infrastructure. Ray Fielding, their Head of Space Sustainability, discusses how the UK will build sustainability into the first national space debris removal mission in 2026, and the biggest opportunities and challenges for sustainable space, now and in the future.

Approved by the UK Space Agency.

Presented by

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock is a British space scientist and space enthusiastic who has presented programmes for the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky One. Maggie is President of the British Science Association, an author and she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Leicester in 2018 and has recently been appointed their chancellor.

Watch the full programme

Each film included in this programme has been approved and complied by the brand associated with that content as identified in the descriptions above. Additional content has been approved by a featured organisation where indicated on this page.

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