RAeS Commercialisation of Space Conference

Thsi week, Dr Andy Quin attended the RAeS conference ‘Commercialisation of Space: Realising UK Goals for Innovation and Growth


Illustration breaking down the space industry’s contribution to the UK economy (source: UK Space Agency)

For a summary of the conference, head on over to the very good summary of the day by Bill Read at https://www.aerosociety.com/news/making-the-best-use-of-space/.

Conference details: https://www.aerosociety.com/events-calendar/commercialisation-of-space-realising-uk-goals-for-innovation-and-growth/

ICAO/UNOOSA Presentation

This week Dr Andy Quinn attended the 2017 ICAO/UNOOSA Aerospace Symposium, held this year in Vienna.

Andy presented a well-received talk on Regulating Airworthiness & Spaceworthiness of Future Suborbital Vehicles, and you can download the slides below.

Download presentation

Regulating Airworthiness & Spaceworthiness of Future Suborbital Vehicles

Further reading

International Civil Aviation Organisation / United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs 

Conference details: https://www.icao.int/meetings/space2017/Pages/default.aspx

LAUNCHUK – 21 Feb 2017 (RAeS, London)

Great day for the UK Space Industry! The Government representatives announced the Draft Spaceflight Bill which is to be presented to Parliament. Industry will of course review this draft bill.

Opening the day with excellent key note speeches were Jo Johnson (Space and Science Minister) and Lord Ahmed (Transport Minister).

The 7 prospective Spaceports gave their Dragon’s Den Style pitches (each had 7 minutes): from the top of the UK to the bottom – Sutherland and Spaceport1 (Hebrides) – both vertical launch sites, Campbetown, Prestwick, Llanbedr, Newquay and Manston.

The Regulatory panel was most interesting, bringing together the 3 departments: UKSA, DfT/CAA and HSE:

So what’s in the Spaceflight Bill? The slide below details the main sections of the Primary Legislation; essentially detailing which Government department will be responsible for which aspects and providing high-level statements based on the legal aspects, hence the statements reflect UK’s approach to reducing residual risks to As Low As Reasonably Practical (and recognising therefore that space is indeed risky)….

This is a DRAFT Spaceflight Bill, and hence the UKSA are keen for Industry to review this and then to assist in the development of the more detailed Secondary Legislation (through Workshops and outputs of studies/reports such as the recent NSTP2 study: here Saturn SMS were part of a consortium (DEIMOS, Highland and Island Enterprises, Firefly/BradSpace, SSTL); Andy provided the safety and regulatory review and proposals for the UKSA to consider.

SABRE: Enabling Single Stage to Orbit Safely

Recently, at the IAASS conference in Florida USA, Dr Andy Quinn and Richard Varvill of Reaction Engines presented a paper that:
provides an overview of the design features of SABRE as integrated in to a spaceplane concept (such as Skylon) along with abort strategies, safe design philosophy and loss of vehicle/abort targets

The Right Stuff versus the The Right, Safe Thing

At the IAASS held in Florida last month, Dr Andy Quinn and Dr Ivan Sikora submitted a paper titled “The Right Stuff versus the The Right, Safe Thing”. The paper contends that

… safety management and safety engineering are essential disciplines that should be integrated with the design team from the concept phase.


Quinn, Sikora: The Right Stuff ‘v’ The Right (Safe) Thing



Saturn SMS at RIS 2016

Highlighting the trends that will define space enterprise a decade from now

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 09.02.16

The 14th Reinventing Space Conference will be held between the Monday 24 and Thursday 27 October 2016 at the Royal Society in London., UK. The focus of the 2016 conference will be on how technology trends are leading to the increasing commercialisation of space, including low cost launch systems, mega-constellations, and a range of novel satellite applications, both in LEO and beyond.

RISpace brings together industry, agency, government, financiers, academia and end users in the unparalleled, catalytic environment of a major London scientific institution. The conference and exhibition is organised by the British Interplanetary Society

Check out the conference brochure here (Saturn SMS namechecked in the 2015 attendees).


Andy receiving a memento for presenting the Plenary

Andy Quinn at the 8th IAASS Conference, Florida USA

8th IAASS Conference – Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, USA (18-20th May)

The conference commenced with an introduction from the IAASS President, Isabelle Rognier (seen further below with Andy at the Gala Dinner) and she played an IAASS-complied video of pretty much all space accidents since the last conference 18 months ago (which was also nicely balanced with successes/new projects during this period). There have been quite a few accidents ranging from Space-X launch failure, to Orbital Sciences, Russian Proton vehicle failures and the SpaceShip2 accident. Isabelle concluded that we need better standards and guidance because in the space community, one accident is everybody’s accident.

Keynote Speakers

The conference was blessed with the following keynote speakers:

Roberto Battiston (President Italian Space Agency), Kiyoshi Higuchi (President International Astronautics Federation and VP ret. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Jan Droz Deputy Director of Safety, Security and Environment French Space Agency (CNES)), Guy A. Boy (Dean School of Human Centred Design, Innovation and Arts, Florida Institute of Technology)

Charles Bolden (Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration), Andrew M. Mueller (Chief of Safety United States Air Force), George Nield (Associated Administrator Federal Aviation Administration for Commercial Space Transportation), Jules Schneider (Orion Program, AIP Manager Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company), Christophe Chicher (Head of System Design and Performance Airbus DS)


As usual there were many parallel sessions to choose from and there were excellent presentations from ‘safety by design’ and launch safety to Space & Air Traffic Management and of course Commercial Spaceflight Safety.

Andy presented SABRE – An Enabler for Space Access.

Andy demonstrating a cutaway of the Sabre engine itself

Andy demonstrating a cutaway of the Sabre engine itself

Andy also presented a paper on the SpaceShip2 accident in relation to safety and human factors.

Kathryn Wilson (NTSB) gave an in-depth presentation on the SpaceShip2 accident and she was joined by Todd Ericson for the questions.

Kathryn Wilson presenting on the Spaceship2 accident.

Kathryn Wilson presenting on the Spaceship2 accident.


A special mention must go to Chuck Lauer who gave an excellent hour-long presentation (S035) on the ‘A Global Perspective On Suborbital Commercial Human Spaceflight Safety’; here he gave an overview on where the suborbital industry is at including vehicles and spaceports.

Chuck Lauer at the 8th IAASS

Chuck Lauer at the 8th IAASS


Commercial Human Spaceflight Safety Panel

This panel discussed the merits of standards & guidelines and possible Space Safety Institute. It was a pleasure to have Todd Ericson (Virgin Galactic Head of Safety & Test) on the panel to hear his thoughts on this important topic.

Closing Plenaries

Andy presented Reaction Engine’s SABRE and Skylon and this was followed by Hypersonic, Space Transit, and Space Access Flight Test by Lockheed Martin’s Timothy Jorris.

Gala Dinner

The Gala Dinner was held at the Kennedy Space Centre. Aperitifs and excellent Antipasti was held next to Space Shuttle Atlantis(awesome), after an impressive video of Atlantis in the Dome.

Post conference reception held next to Space Shuttle Atlantis

Post conference reception held next to Space Shuttle Atlantis

We then went to a separate hall for the dinner. After the awards ceremony with excellent recipients including Bll Ailor, Ram Jakhu and Professor Nancy Leveson (a previous Technical Committee Chair), Andy received a memento for presenting the Plenary on behalf of Reaction Engines.

Andy receiving a memento for presenting the Plenary

Andy receiving a memento for presenting the Plenary