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Welcome to UKSpacePod 2021, the official podcast for the UK Space Conference 2021 Online. 

Throughout September, our host, Suzie Imber, and special guests will explore the topical themes of this year's Conference.

Each week we will be releasing new episodes, which will be available to listen or download on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Amazon Music


Episode 1 - Space to Prosper: The UK space economy; a rocket-engine for growth

First released: 02 September 2021

The global space economy continues to be recognised as one of the fastest growing sectors. It is constantly evolving, frequently disrupted, new businesses are being created, and record levels of private investment have been logged this year. Governments are also committing large space budgets, particularly in the defence domain. In this episode, hear from our group of experts who share their thoughts on the main growth opportunities in our sector, while also revealing their hopes for the highly-anticipated 2021 UK government space strategy. 

Hosted by Suzie Imber, Associate Professor of Space Physics, University of Leicester


  • Elizabeth Seward, Senior Space Strategist, Airbus Defence and Space

  • Stuart Martin, Chief Executive Officer, Satellite Applications Catapult

  • Doug Liddle, Chair of SME Committee, UKspace

  • Elodie Viau, Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Director, European Space Agency

This episode is sponsored by Airbus, Satellite Applications Catapult and UKspace.

Episode 2 - Space to Observe & Sustain: The view of Climate Change from Space

First released: 07 September 2021

This podcast will explore the key topics of the use of space for addressing the climate challenge. We will explore the roles of institutions and commercial entities as well as how these work together in the UK and beyond. The podcast will include a couple examples of the journey SME’s take raising the funds and building the systems that deliver commercial climate services.

Hosted by Suzie Imber, Associate Professor of Space Physics, University of Leicester


  • Briony Turner, Climate Services Manager, Space4Climate

  • Andrew Stanniland, CEO, Thales Alenia Space UK

  • Martin Unwin, GNSS Principal Engineer, Surrey Satellite Technology


This episode is sponsored by Thales Alenia Space and Surrey Satellite Technology

Episode 3 - Space to Protect: Agile and rapid capability development in the space domain

First released: 09 September 2021

Are the larger UK stakeholders in the space domain, such as the Ministry of Defence and some industry primes, lagging behind smaller organisations in the commercial sector in adopting more lean, agile and rapid capability development and acquisition processes? Is the move away from lengthy, procedural, requirements-based and CADMID-derived practises happening too slowly for them to be able to keep pace with smaller competitors or partners? How quickly can this behavioural change happen within such large and well-established organisations? Is it already too late for some and they will never catch up? Find out more on this podcast.

Presented by Dr. Suzie Imber, Associate Professor in Space Physics for University of Leicester.


  • Kevin Jones, Director Consult Expert, CGI

  • Simon Reid, COO, D-orbit

  • Gina Galasso, Managing Director, Aerospace Corporation UK

This episode is sponsored by CGI and D-orbit

Episode 4 - Space to Live Well: Application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity

First released: 14 September 2021


This podcast will explore innovations and advancements that have been made in the Space sector, improving life on earth as well as new technology and scientific advancements enabling growth. We highlight achievements and explore future goals and expectations on space.

Presented by Dr. Suzie Imber, Associate Professor in Space Physics for University of Leicester.


  • Libby Jackson, Human Exploration Programme Manager, UK Space Agency

  • Christophe Lasseur, Project Manager, ESA

  • Anne Mcardle, Professor, University of Liverpool

This episode is sponsored by the UK Space Agency

Episode 5 - Space to Inspire and Explore: Transformational Space

First released: 16 September 2021


The increased utilisation and accessibility of space is providing a new domain for truly transformational progress that will impact and benefit everyone.  But to take full advantage of the opportunities requires knowledge, access to people, collaboration and investment by the public and private sector. In this podcast we bring together leaders in research, business and government to discuss the foundation pillars of science, innovation and commercialisation that are needed to thrive in the transformational Space Sector. 

Presented by Dr. Suzie Imber, Associate Professor in Space Physics for University of Leicester.

•    Chris Rocks, Capability Director for Space & Security, Team Athena
•    Sarah Casewell, University of Leicester
•    Barbara Ghinnelli, Director, UKRI
•    Aine O’Brien, Planetary Science PhD Student

This episode is sponsored by the Team Athena and UKRI



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Suzie is an Associate Professor of Space Physics at the University of Leicester. Her research focuses on the interactions between the solar wind and planetary magnetospheres on Earth and on Mercury. She currently works on mission planning and data analysis related to the Japanese/European Mercury-bound spacecraft BepiColombo, focusing on solar wind-surface interactions and planetary X-ray emission, as a Co-Investigator on the X-ray instrument on board. Her research on terrestrial space weather combines ground-based instrumentation with sounding rocket and spacecraft data to investigate the coupled solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere system.

Beyond research, Suzie is perhaps best known for her appearance in 2017 on the BBC2 series ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?’ Selected from thousands of applicants to take a place in the final 12, Suzie completed a series of grueling physical, psychological, and operational challenges to emerge as the winner, receiving a formal recommendation from Chris Hadfield to join the European Space Agency. She is also a high-altitude mountaineer, using satellite data to identify unnamed, unclimbed mountains, and competing first ascents in the remote Andes.