On Friday, I attended a meeting kindly hosted by Inmarsat, organised by the UK Space Agency. It was a great chance to meet former ISU participants. We met with UK Space Agency officials and Inmarsat staff, as well as the President of the British Interplanetary Society.
During the meeting, we heard from Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education of the UK Space Agency, who kickstarted the day, telling us a bit about the UK Space Agency and a government angle. He told us the strategy for the UK Space Agency, the Government’s investment in the space sector since the ESA Ministerial in November, as well as the opening of the new ESA Centre and Satellite Catapult Centre in Harwell.
Alistair Scott, President of the British Interplanetary Society later told us about “Commercial activities in the Space Sector” and some of the background on the British Interplanetary Society, including some past BIS Technical projects and highlighted its 80th anniversary.
Del Ashley, Maritime Technical Trainer at Inmarsat then introduced the company and its background.
Headquartered in London, Inmarsat has offices in more than 40 locations worldwide, including regional offices, operations centres, sales offices, installation and maintenance centres, and satellite ground stations. We employ about 1,500 staff and have a presence in ports and centres of commerce on every continent.
We then engaged with former ISU students/participants who spoke of their own experiences with the SSP and Master’s Programmes. SSP in particular, is a very intensive programme. It was great to be able to chat to those who have done this to ask questions to allay our concerns and help prepare us more for our attendance. It reaffirmed also how these nine weeks will be some of the most intense weeks of our career so far(!).
After lunch, we networked with Inmarsat staff, many of whom also attended ISU. Again, it was great to hear the range of positive comments from ISU alumni. Inmarsat staff then showed us their Maritime simulator, which was lot of fun.
We also managed to view the operations centre and saw the “behind the scenes” work which Inmarsat does.
As the industry leader and pioneer of mobile satellite communications, Inmarsat has been powering global connectivity for more than three decades.
Following the meeting, some of us got to know each other more in the good old British tradition — the pub.
The next nine weeks look set to be an extremely action-packed period. I am sure it will prove very challenging and will be an experience like no other I have experienced. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but I really look forward to this opportunity. I can’t quite believe there is less than a week to go now!
Many thanks to our hosts Inmarsat for their hospitality and for the UK Space Agency for organising this event. It was very useful.