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UK ESA astronaut Tim Peake presents Sir Arthur Clarke awards at UK Space Conference 2011

5 Jul 2011

The winners of the prestigious Sir Arthur Clarke Awards were announced on 4 July 2011 at an awards ceremony at the UK Space Conference 2011. Each award was presented to its winner by UK ESA astronaut Tim Peake. The awards recognize notable contributions to the UK space sector.

Attended by leading figures from the British and wider international space community, the ceremony honoured the following people/groups:

  • Unlimited Theatre for Mission to Mars (Achievement in Space Education and Outreach)
    ‘Mission to Mars’ is a play written for 7-11 year olds, intended to inspire them about science, space and the solar system.
  • University of Strathclyde Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory (Achievement in Space Research)
    The Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory undertakes frontier research on visionary space systems
  • Clyde Space (Achievement in Space Commerce)
    In the last five years, Clyde Space has become established as a leading supplier of small and micro spacecraft systems, has around a 40% global market share for CubeSat power systems and is a leading CubeSat vendor.
  • Clive Horwood (Achievement in Space Media)
    Clive is the Chief Executive of the UK publishing company Praxis which, for more than twenty years has specialised in space books and given British and other authors access to a global readership.
  • Chris Brunskill (Space Student Achievement)
    Chris is a PhD student at the University of Surrey. In 2009 he led the bid for Surrey to host the annual UKSEDs student space conference and then later organised the event. He did the same for the 2011 UKSEDS conference in Manchester.
  • David Thompson (International Space Achievement)
    David left NASA in 1982 to found the Orbital Sciences Corporation which now has more than a billion dollars in annual sales by providing lower cost launch services, mid-sized communications and other applications satellites and spacecraft for military and strategic missions.
  • Prof David Southwood (Exceptional Space Achievement)
    David has spent a lifetime working in space science, first in academia around the world and later in European Space Agency where he created the current form of the European Space Agency's Earth observation programme and also became Director of Science (and latterly Director of Science and Robotic Exploration).

Dr Chris Welch, Chair of the Space Education Trust says, “The Space Education Trust is very pleased to acknowledge the winners of the 2011 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards. Space is one of the UK’s hidden success stories, but the Awards – named after the UK space visionary and inventor of the geostationary orbit used by communication satellites - demonstrate very clearly the range and level of UK achievements in space in many different areas, from science to space commerce, from education to entertainment. It is our hope that they will make the many successes of the UK space community much more visible.”

Each Sir Arthur Clarke award is given to an individual or to groups/organisations that have contributed to, originated in or have strong links to the United Kingdom, or have benefited the national space sector in some capacity.

The awards are owned by the Space Education Trust and sponsored this year by the UK Space Agency. The British Interplanetary Society (BIS) are administering the judging process on behalf of the SET and the UK Space Agency.

Jeremy Curtis, Chair of the Organising Group for the UK Space Conference and Head of Education at the UK Space Agency, said, ‘We are delighted to be able to include these important awards as a highlight of the UK Space Conference – it is the ideal place to honour the achievements of some of the brightest stars in the UK space community.’

Notes for editors

More info about award categories:

1) Achievement in Space Education and Outreach
This award is made for achievement in space education and outreach. This includes: formal education at all levels, informal education, education about space, education for the space community (e.g. workforce development), education using space assets/resources, and outreach to the general public or specific target groups. The judging of this award is carried out by the Space Education Trust.

2) Achievement in Space Research
This award is made for achievement in space research. This includes research carried out in any subject related to space whether in science, engineering, medicine, humanities, art or design.

3) Achievement in Space Commerce
This award is made for achievement in space commerce. This includes any activity in any are related to space pursued for commercial reasons.

4) Achievement in Space Media
This award is made for achievement in space media. This includes any media related to space such as journalism, documentary, drama or other entertainment, scholarly record in any of the following forms: written, filmed, broadcast, web/internet-based or staged.

5) Space Student Achievement
This award is made for achievement by an undergraduate or postgraduate student(s) of no more than 28 years of age on 12 April 2011 for any space-related activity.

6) International Space Achievement
This award is made for achievement which either features or furthers a significant international aspect in an area of space activity. The judging of this award is carried out by the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation.

7) Exceptional Space Achievement
This award is made for exceptional achievement in an area of space activity. Examples of this might include lifetime achievement, breakthroughs in space science/technology, space undertakings of global impact/significance, etc. Space Education Trust.

The Space Education Trust (SET) is a charitable trust established in 1988, to promote space education through using space as an educational tool to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects with young people, education of and outreach to the general public and demonstrating that space encompasses many important areas of activity in academia, industry, commerce and entertainment.


Dr Chris Welch, Chair
Space Education Trust
T: 07802 183613

UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space. It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

Second only to the USA in space science, the UK's thriving space sector contributes £7.5bn a year to the UK economy, directly employs 24,900 and supports a further 60,000 jobs across a variety of industries.

The UK Space Agency:

  • Co-ordinates UK civil space activity
  • Encourages academic research
  • Supports the UK space industry
  • Raises the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
  • Increases understanding of space science and its practical benefits
  • Inspires our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
  • Licences the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
  • Promotes co-operation and participation in the European Space programme


Julia Short
UK Space Agency
T: 01793 41 8069

British Interplanetary Society

The British Interplanetary Society is the leading UK organisation for the promotion of the uses and exploration of Space, in particular encouraging new and visionary aspects of Space activities. Tracing its foundation back to 1933, it has as its motto “...from imagination to reality..,” reflecting its concerns with the past history, current activities and future developments in astronautics and Space. It publishes a monthly, full-colour magazine, Spaceflight, providing news and articles for the general reader, a technical journal, JBIS, publishing refereed papers on astronautics, and a twice-yearly Space Chronicle devoted to past spaceflight programmes, as well as hosting one or two-day Symposia on specialist spaceflight topics and a regular programme of evening lectures.

The Society has a world-wide membership with two grades; ordinary Membership for anybody with a general interest in Space activities, and Fellowship for professionals involved in astronautical activity. Details of membership can be found at

More information about the Sir Arthur Clarke Awards.</p>

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The UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.

The UK's thriving space sector contributes £9.1 billion a year to the UK economy and directly employs 28,900 with an average growth rate of almost 7.5%. (The Size and Health of the UK Space Sector 2010/11, preliminary survey results.)

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