Experts warn that space is the next environment at risk of serious damage

Space is the next environment that has to be protected against the impact of human development, a panel of top experts has warned at the UK Government's GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong.

The group of academics said that international investment and regulation needs to happen urgently or space risks being as damaged as our oceans are by human development. Development on the Moon and other planets is a 'virtual certainty' as new resources are sought from outside the Earth – and the panel called for these developments to be properly regulated.

The panel included Dr Suzie Imber and Professor Paul Monks from the University of Leicester, and Professor Sir Martin Sweeting and Professor Yang Gao from the University of Surrey.

Speaking as part of the Government's drive to highlight the UK's expertise in innovation across a range of different sectors, the experts said that as space becomes more affordable and accessible to a range of different sectors, we will see small, agile satellites launched in constellations that will herald the onset of real-time video from space. This will help developments such as monitoring widespread forest fires, snow conditions on mountains and even traffic at a macro-level.

The University has a 50-year plus involvement in space research and is the driving force behind Space Park Leicester- an ambitious initiative to develop a global hub and collaborative community based on space and space-enabled technologies . Based in Leicester, adjacent to the National Space Centre, the Park is part of the Leicestershire Enterprise Zone and was formally launched in March 2017 as part of the Government's Midlands Engine strategy with an allocation of £12.87 million.

Watch a video about our 50 years in space science:

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