UKSEDS Annual Conference 31 March/1 April 2012


‘This year’s UKSEDS conference will be held at the University of Kent on the weekend of the 31st March – 1st April, and will be hosted by our Kent branch: SpaceSoc.

As always everyone is welcome to attend, regardless of whether they are a UKSEDS member or not, for a weekend packed with fascinating speakers from Space industry, academia and space groups. What’s more they’ll be ample opportunity to network with potential employers, exchange ideas about future projects and promote your branches flagship projects.’

The full programme and details of speakers are available on the UKSEDS website.

This is a great opportunity for OU students to mix with other students, postgrads and people from the space industry and academia.

As an OUSEDS member you qualify for the reduced rate of £8 (Not a member? just email me to join, its free for all OU students). This includes entrance and refreshments (tea/coffee and sandwiches) for both days.

Register on the UKSEDS Website.

I hope to see you there.



UKSEDS Annual Workshop: 19 November 2011

UKSEDS have announced their annual November workshop session, this year to be held at Imperial College London on the 19th Nov. This all day event will be FREE for all to attend regardless of whether you are a branch member or just curious about what people in UKSEDS get up to. They will be offering a collection of talks, demonstrations and workshops including:

  • Space systems engineering workshop with Dr Jenny Kingston – how to plan and design your own space missions.
  • “The Scientific Case for renewed Robotic and Human Exploration of the Moon” – a talk by Dr Ian Crawford
  • Branches summit – a chance to network with colleagues and develop new project ideas.
  • MBed workshop – Electronics and integrated chip programming for your projects.
  • Spacecraft operations with VEGA and Dan Kent – software training and introduction.
  • High Altitude Ballooning with Steve Randall – demonstration of how easy it is to run your own HAB missions.
  • Zoe’s birthday – not actually part of the workshop but as we’re making Zoe work on her birthday, we probably should do something to say thanks (for the cake) [Zoe is the UKSEDS Events organiser].

  All you’ll need is a laptop, stationary, lunch and plenty of ideas and enthusiasm!

To keep up to date with developments, please add yourself on our facebook event where applicable. Or you can email me if you’d like to attend or have questions.

By nancyhine Posted in Events

New Website

We now have a new website. I’ve moved all the information from the old site, so that we don’ t lose the history. This means the first fewe posts on here all have the same date, ie not the date of the original posts.

Hopefully this site looks a little nicer and it should be easier to post to going forward. It will also be easier for me to hand this on to someone else in due course.

By nancyhine Posted in News

Rockets and BBQ Event

We are launching some Rockets and having a BBQ at Mullard Space Science Labs (MSSL) on 4 June. This is open to the whole of UKSEDS. There will be the option of tours of the labs and if the weather is good we will also have use of the swimming pool. Please email me if you are interested in attending.

By nancyhine Posted in Events

UK Space Conference Student Presentation Competition

In collaboration with the UK Space Agency, UKSEDS are offering the opportunity for students to present at the UK Space Conference at Warwick Univeristy, 4-5 July.

One student will be selected to give a 10 min presentation on each of the following parrallel sessions:

Monday 4 July
Science and Exploration
Consumer Applications
New Horizons

Tuesday 5 July
Space Business

The conference topics are fairly broad, but you should link your talk in to the main theme ‘The New Space Economy’.

No formal paper is required, we are looking for presentations that present new perspectives, visions and ways of working in space, rather than something technical.

To enter please send a 300 word abstract along with your name, contact details, University and subject of study to

The deadline is 18:00 Friday 20 May.

For more information visit the UKSC Mini Site

Astrium Trip

We are organising a trip to Astrium at Stevenage for 4 May. Please email me if you are interested in attending.

By nancyhine Posted in Events

The Next UKSEDS Project

The next project will be a REXUS experiment. We will be putting together a proposal for an experiment to measure electrons in the ionosphere. If accepted the experiment will be launched on an ISU rocket. You can read more about the REXUS progamme at We are looking for volunteers to help with the project. Don’t worry if you don’t qualify for the ESA grants (you are meant to be under 28 and in full time education) you can still take part in the project (although you won’t get a free trip to the launch). We need people to help the – electronics, software, mech eng and science teams.

UKSEDS Annual Conference 2011

This took place over the weekend of 26/27 February in Manchester. Three OU students attended. I’ve prepared a brief summary of the event for those who couldn’t be there.


  • Sergei Utyuzhnikov, ‘Russian Space Programme from Yuri Gagarin to ‘Buran’ Spacecraft’: A brief overview with some interesting information about the Russian shuttle that wasn’t (Buran) and the one that may still be (Clipper).
  • Natalie Allred and Simon Feast from Reaction Engines Ltd: An update on Skylon. Funding has been obtained for the next round of tests.
  • Tom Nordeim ‘ISU and BEXUS Projects’: An introdution to the International Space University’s Balloon and Rocket programmes. Tom told us about his project and introduced the next UKSEDS project (see seperate entry for details)
  • Jeremy Curtis – UK Space Agency: Jeremy talks about the new Agency and asked us what students would like it to do for them. He also talked about the new format UK Space Conference that will take place in July. UKSEDS have been asked to submit abstracts for 10 minute presentations. There will be a slot reserved for a student paper relevent to each of the parrallels. The UKSEDS committee will be inviting students to submit abstracts to them so that they can create a shortlist to send to the UKSA. These could be on technical or science subjects, or on other issues such as the future of the space industry etc. More details to come.
  • Leanna Roscoe – HE Space Operations: How her company can help you get a job in the space industry in Europe.
  • Tom Ormston from VEGA: ESA Operations – the guys who actually look after the spaceships once they’ve been launched.
  • Althea Wilkinson, Jodrell Bank A brief history and outline of their work.
  • Andrew Ratcliffe, EADS Astrium Working for Astrium, the graduate programme and update on Exo Mars.
  • Barry Kellett, Rutherford Appleton Labs: His work on using x-rays to determine the compostion of the moon.
  • UKSEDS myPocketQub project: Myself and other members of the team gave an update on our progress and asked for more volunteers.
  • Martin Ditter from ESA ESA is keeen to encourage more participation from the UK, both in terms of government money and scientists. ESA now has an office at the Harwell site to encourage participation.


The old committee gave their report for the year and a new committee was elected.

  • Chair: Graeme Taylor (Southampton Uni)
  • Vice Chair: Ruth Pearson (Sussex Uni)
  • Secretary: Adnan Chughtai (Manchester Uni)
  • Treasurer: Tom Boulton (MSSL)
  • Events: Craig Pitcher (Southampton Uni)
  • Communications: Jack White (Surrey Uni)
  • Communications: Mateusz Molente (Manchester)
  • Schools & Universities: Zoe Versey (Imperial College)
  • Projects Assistant & Cranfield: Toivo Hartikainen (Cranfield Uni)
  • Projects: Nancy Hine (The Open Uni)
By nancyhine Posted in Events

Satellite Project

UKSEDS are competing to have their payload included on the first UK Cubesat mission. This is an opportunity to get involved in a project to produce something that may actually fly in space. We are looking for student volunteers to help with various tasks. We particularly need the skills listed below, but later on we will also need people to help out with less technical tasks such as outreach work – talking to schools, helping out on stalls, admin tasks etc. If you are interested then please email me.

  • programming – C and/or Arduino
  • electronics
  • Eagle PCB software
  • Lab View
  • Mechanical Engineering