Select Committee on Science and Technology Seventh Report


12  CONCLUSION

367. We have been impressed and often surprised during the course of this inquiry by the range of activities undertaken in the space sector in the UK. Although we have highlighted that there are weaknesses in the organisational structures, funding and co-ordination of space activities, we also acknowledge that the sector is characterised by an enthusiasm for discovery, research and experimentation. It is important for the Government to increase its funding for particular programmes in space now because of the long-lead times in space programmes. The space sector should not have to survive solely on the fruits of past investments in space. There are opportunities for the UK to lead developments in emerging areas such as exploration, satellite navigation and Earth observation. A strong political lead is essential for the UK research and industrial sectors. It is crucial that the Government uses its forthcoming strategy to declare its ambitions and to inspire people to develop new ideas. Space should be an arena in which today's fantastic ideas are assessed seriously because they could be tomorrow's reality.



 
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