New ESA Center Concentrates British Space R&D

Q&A with Richard Holdaway, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

4 min read

In October 2009, two months before the UK government announced that it would set up an independent space agency, IEEE Spectrum’s Jean Kumagai spoke with British space expert Richard Holdaway. Holdaway is director for space science and technology at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, near Oxford, England. A major part of the UK’s space research is based there, and last July the European Space Agency (ESA) selected it as the site of its first UK facility. Holdaway talked about what the new ESA center will likely accomplish, how his lab builds the best small scientific cameras, and how space technology is being adapted to help catch terrorists. 

IEEE Spectrum: What is the significance of the new ESA facility and of the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, where it will be based?

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