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Space Park Leicester and University make space sustainability commitment

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Space Park Leicester and the University of Leicester have joined organisations in industry and academia in committing to the sustainable use of space.

The initiative brings together industry, academia, government stakeholders and international bodies to ensure that space continues to support the environmental, economic and scientific interests of future generations.

The University is one of over 112 signatories of the Memorandum of Principles for Space Sustainability, a UK initiative linked to the UN Secure World Foundation, which will seek to promote and facilitate understanding of outer space activities. Those principles will be echoed in the Astra Carta, a framework launched on 28 June by the Sustainable Markets Initiative. It builds on the foundation of the Terra Carta to shape a future of responsible and sustainable space exploration, development, and cooperation.

The launch of the Astra Carta framework brings to reality a vision for space sustainability outlined by His Majesty King Charles III, in his previous role as Prince of Wales, at the Space Sustainability Summit in 2022.

The launch of the Astra Carta coincides with a ministerial roundtable with George Freeman, Minister of State in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, and symposium on Space Sustainability at the Royal Society attended by Professor Richard Ambrosi, Executive Director of Space Park Leicester.

He also attended a Royal Reception in support of sustainability in space, where King Charles was presented with the Memorandum of Principles and officially launched the Astra Carta.

Professor Richard Ambrosi, Executive Director of Space Park Leicester, said: “Space presents a range of exciting opportunities, but it is imperative that we ensure that space continues to support the environmental, economic and scientific interests of future generations. There is also an important cross disciplinary aspect to this initiative since it aggregates science, technology, engineering, law, policy, finance and insurance sectors.

“As part of our growing collaboration with Reef Group, who will also be present for this event, we are working collaboratively on addressing global challenges as well as space sustainability challenges. At Space Park Leicester, we’re delighted to be part of this initiative and to work with the community to address this challenge.

“It is an honour and privilege to be invited to attend the round table with Minister, the Symposium and to attend the launch of the Astra Carta by His Majesty King Charles III.”

The Secure World Foundation defines space sustainability as: “Ensuring that all humanity can continue to use outer space for peaceful purposes and socioeconomic benefit now and in the long term.”

The signatories to the Memorandum of Principles seek to promote and facilitate international cooperation and understanding of the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, and through these efforts establish transparent Space Sustainability Principles of responsible behaviour, based on, expanding and developing the initial principles.

The Memorandum of Principles for Space Sustainability has been signed on behalf of the University of Leicester by President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Nishan Canagarajah.

Professor Canagarajah said: “We are committed to the betterment of future generations and building a more sustainable world – here on our own planet and in new frontiers beyond. The potential that space affords is enormous. Leicester is proud to be among the signatories to the Memorandum of Principles for Space Sustainability and to make a commitment to use it responsibly.”

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