Members of the UK CubeSat Forum were out en masse in Liverpool to show support for the many CubeSat and nanosatellite teams, projects, and missions across the UK. Of particular interest was the session on “Opportunities and Threats – Nanosats and Space Debris” which was held on Wednesday 15 July 2015, 13:00 – 14:30.
The UKCF appreciated the honest and frank discussions about which routes are, or are not yet, available for universities, new startups, and existing operators – and on how to ensure responsible space usage.
The UKCF’s Corentin Guillo (Satellite Applications Catapult) was on the panel to show numbers and statistics, along with Peter Platzer (Spire) who presented an SME point of view that 3rd party liability insurance was of key concern. Further legal comments and potential EU regulation barriers were also discussed by Joanne Wheeler (Bird & Bird), along with the potential collision risks presented by Camilla Colombo (Uni. of Southampton). Together, these made for welcome and long overdue discussion which highlighted not only the legislative grey areas but also the strong feeling that the UK really can lead in safe and low-risk CubeSat/nanosat operations whilst fully respecting the need for definitive deorbiting plans.
Prof. Richard Crowther, “If you had one wish to change policy, what would it be?”
At the close of the session, the chair Prof. Richard Crowther (Chief Engineer, UK Space Agency) announced that a set of recommendations would be published soon on the UKSA’s website regarding future CubeSat and nanosatellites activities and would welcome feedback. We recommend you get involved and look forward to responding as a forum ourselves using the feedback already collected from the past year’s work.